The Beat Goes On…

We are still hanging in here.

Don’t tell anyone, but Kasia and I snuck out for a little walk. I felt bad for her, as she needed a good brushing. We took a short walk. The sunshine was somewhat cool. It still was nice to get fresh air in the lungs. The problem with that, though, is it made me cough more.

I am waiting for another diagnosis, as it seems that like the winter that wouldn’t leave, my hacking wants to plant roots and dig in.

God, I hope not!

Here’s Nurse Kasia ❤️

And some more….

IMG_5262Here is Kasia not looking very happy with me, but Jim and I had a date night last night.

The only chance of seeing a first run movie down these parts was a drive away,, so we went off to dinner and then saw The Darkest Hour. It was Gary Oldman staring as Winston Churchill and Kristin-Scott Thomas, of Four Weddings and a Funeral and, later, The Other Boleyn Girl as Clementine Churchill. We both enjoyed the movie, but, unfortunately in the age of #METOO it might get rolled over for Oscar Time. That would be a shame.

Back at the home today, disgust is on Kasia’s face, because it is now a fact that Mom picked up bronchitis on the tail end of here current list of ailments….My girl hates being the health Continue reading And some more….

Hitting the Fan

This week starts 3 weeks of stomach knot tying worry.

If you’ve had a medical cancer history, you know what I mean. You have to go to the hospital for procedures that you don’t necessarily want :it  is something you don’t want to get but if you have a history you need to have them done. Even if you’ve had no symptoms it’s still gives you something to worry about because if they do find something they always have to biopsy it and that makes you sweat things out just a little bit longer


It’s not so bad when you approach things the way you prior doctor told you to look at things. When you establish with a new physician though they don’t care what your prior doctor told you they feel you should be doing things their way .You are their new patient.

When you were done with one doctor and one procedure and sweating out the results from that lo and behold you have a two or three day respite and then medical procedure number two comes down the pike. Nothing like getting all this done before school starts. Add in the fact that I have been working a couple days a week and it kind of makes for a really busy stretch of time. I am hoping that once I get through this prayerfully I’ll have good results and things can get back to some semblance of normalcy.

Please hold a good thought for me this week because I certainly could use it and if I’m not blogging  as much it’s because I’m indisposed :hopefully I will be back on the ball later on the week.

Another Good Anniversary.

This was an anniversary between me, God,Jefferson University Oncologic-Gynocolgy department and Dr.Charles J.Dunton,not to mention other doctors, nurses, staff, my best friend Kate and religious advisors.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer 23 years ago today.What an experience! Doctors, nurses, having to call my parents from the hospital to inform them that I wasn’t coming home because a grapefruit was found in my cervix and I needed exploratory surgery.Then came the pain of them coming to see me in the hospital and seeing the pain and fear in their eyes.That pain I will take with me to my last day.Kate was living in Pittsburgh at the time and drove back on the weekends when I was in for my chemotherapy.

I usually make a post on this every year to show the people who might “think” or”know” they have cancer.You really can’t ignore it. You need to take a pro-active stance on trying to get the invader out of your body.I went through a radiation and chemotherapy protocol that was so effective that it is now the standard for cervical cancer treatment.You never know.

If you have a friend or family neighbor going through the disease, be supportive, if they choose to tell you about it.Let them know you’d like them to be around for a good,long time.

That’s why I am here 23 years later.

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Consumer/Patient Aware

Remember the still ongoing fiasco with my cellulitis and eczema chaser?

Hah!

I got the “Explanation of Benefits” statement from the insurance company today.I opened the letter and oh,what a shocker, I found out I owe $396 and change to the laboratory who ran the blood work that was drawn from me in the Infectious Disease doctor’s office.It would seem that although the technician who pulled the blood was participating, the lab was not.

I collected my thoughts, counted to ten, and called the insurance company.

Explaining to them that they had my long recent referral trail, the fact that I had to go IMMEDIATELY to an infectious disease doctor would constitute an emergency.The physician wanted lab work done and said that he could do it there, so who am I to argue? The insurance company agreed, and long story short, they will either pay the lab or cut me a check so I can pay the lab directly.

If you NEED to get lab work done, my friend, take it from time. As the song goes, “The times, they are a-changing…” Assume nothing. Do what I am going to do EVERY time from now on. I want to know if the lab is in my insurance network.

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Home Sweet Home

I couldn’t sleep too well last night in anticipation,or should I say,dread, of today’s office visit with the orthopedic doctor.That doesn’t really speak too well of him, as he is a good guy and I am comfortable with him.

I awoke around 2:30am, after falling asleep around 12, and when I woke up, well, that was it.I knew I had packed a bag with hospital essentials and dreaded the fact that I might have to use it

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When I got back to the exam room, he came in and greeted me and looked at my knee.The big question, although he could see where the knee was lightening up, was if the antibiotic would be enough for one more round of it.He had prescribed one 750mg pill every day for two weeks.He really had a twinge of concern in his voice, and said he wanted me to go see an infectious disease specialist to see if I needed something stronger.When he said that, my heart sank.I really, really did not want to get admitted, although the logical part of my brain and my past experience knew that it was probably likely.Once he announced that the infectious doctor used a lot of IV antibiotics, well, it was if a cinder block settled in my gut.

Fortunately, the new doctor’s office was not that far away, but I was so worked up that even my blood pressure was working its’ way to run off the roof. Fortunately, the doctor was a nice guy and after all was said and done, I was able to come home with Jim and my “nurses”, deeply appreciative that I would be putting my head on MY pillow tonight.In the grand scheme of things,I was content.
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Here are my nurses, both above and below.

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So a big thank you to all who have read my posts on the cellulitis I am going through, and thank you for your prayers, beads worked, and good wishes sent my way.Trust me, they are deeply appreciated.I go back to the infectious disease doctor a week from today, so please keep them coming!

A Difference a Week Makes

I posted a picture of a cocktail last Friday, and it was a fitting end to my first week back to work.

This week is a different story.

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I should have known when I walked a young kindergarten charge to the nurse with almost a 101 fever, this would be coming.I get a flu shot every year but today I am so achy and miserable, well, my girls will go out one more time, I will finish my hot tea, shower, and put some flannels on and try to get some sleep.

Joauquin by Northwest

The hurricane that is coming, fading, or whatever, Joaquin, is second fiddle down here right now.

The coin of the realm here is the Nor’easter.

It was bad enough that the ferry “consolidated” boats due to lack of folks wanting to go on a Disney-esque boat ride that would probably have turned the most galvanized stomach green. I, the hourly purveyor of what my three weather apps on my phone say, well, each time I thought I was going out in drizzle, well, I forgot one thing. The formula is you have to take drizzle and multiply it by a 25 knot wind and then you have one saturated self, not to mention puppies. I went out at my lunch half hour today to try to get steps in, and the first 1.5 miles were rough. I am, although thanks to fit bit zip a bit smaller, but I am a big Polish girl and that wind was fighting me. Needless to say, the last 1.5 miles was a literal breeze, as the wind was at my back giving me a little help.

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To counter all of this storm, though, Jim and I are going for our flu shots tomorrow morning, and after we take care of the health of our bodies, I will act on the health oh Zush and Kasia and my soul, when we take our girls to our parish church, when they will be celebrating the feast of St.Francis of Assisi with the traditional blessing of the animals.

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Did I mention I’ll be working on a crock pot of chicken soup to boot?

A good day to take care of the entire family.

Dog E Howser, MD ( with apologies to Doogie Houser MD)

So in the continuing saga of Zush being under the weather, I had an assignment from the vet.

I had to get a urine sample from her.

Jeez.

I had surrendered enough of me through all my cancers and stuff, and now here I am, Zush mom, and I am going after her with a ziplock bag to catch pee.I had no problems doing it, as anyone who knows my relationship with my girls, especially Zush, well, I would do anything with them. To top things off, the vet tech had said on the phone that if I couldn’t get a specimen, don’t let her pee before she gets into the office and they would get it from her.

HAH! No one is going to insert anything into my Zush to give her any discomfort. I had faith that I could get the sample. Indeed, I did.

Keep the good mojo and prayers going, please. I will post tomorrow on diagnosis.

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Happy Birthday

I had the opportunity to call an old co-worker of mine and wish a happy birthday.

It’s funny, but we hadn’t spoken in six months, and although we are now coasts apart, it’s like we just spoke to each other yesterday. It was good to touch base and catch up, as we both have moved on a bit and it was good to hear the pace we are keeping ourselves at post-retirement.Our health has caused us both issues, but thanks to an excellent union health plan, we are managing to get through things ok.We left things where we did in January-we’ll keep in touch.

If you have someone who had a birthday, or is an old friend, or both, call them. It might be the boost in each of your days.

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The Hope Continues…

…with the day.

As you slowly come back up from a GI bug, you learn to take things with baby steps.

I have had a few days of ginger ale and fortunately am on natural apple juice, i.e., no added sugar or preservatives, and sun peppermint tea. A banana is now part of my morning, although it’s an issue that I have to tweak, because I am having some cramping in my legs.I find it highly ironic that the news now has stories on avian flu, as we have more rotisserie chicken than we know what to do with. We introduced it as basic protein back in our diet.

The biggest whoop is getting back in synch with my fitbit zip, after going through withdrawal for the past six days.The trick is going through with everything on a daily basis,so my general health can rock.

Here’s hoping!

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The joys of a GI diet

So today is day number 4 of my bug from hell.

The diet has been Utz pretzels,wonton soup,ginger ale,and,later sprite. Yesterday, I added banana,wheat thins,and apple sauce to the mix.Yum.**not**..lol.

It is bizarre for me to even not want to think about food, but that has been the way of late.My kind neighbor actually made us a pot of turkey noodle soup, as we have unfortunately been reached the sharing the bug with your spouse phase.

The bright side, if there is one,is I haven’t seen this weight in a while.

This is not the way to do it, though, and I sure don’t recommend it.

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Buddies

I had a friend from the office who retired before I did.He’s 58 now, I think.We used to laugh about which of the two of us would retire first.He did,obviously, because he is older than me.

I bring him Holy Communion after Mass, as at 56, he had a stroke.He can talk, go to the bathroom, but he is having a lot of trouble walking.Now his hypertension is going through the roof and they are trying to knock it back down.

I usually don’t ask a request from you,reader,as I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to read this post.If you would hold a good thought for my buddy Marc, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks.

What’s a Dog Mom to Do?

For the first eight years of her life, I had fed Zush Pedigree dry small bites or weight control formula.Then,when Kasia joined the family, we decided to try Beneful dog food.The girls enjoyed it, along with an occasional mooch off of me or treat.

Now,especially off the past month,there has been a lot of mention that Beneful is killing dogs and there is a class action suit in California.It is a two-edged sword, as the girls like beneful but I also love them and want them around.

Homework time.

For the past two days I took what information my fellow dog moms have sent me and also went on-line looking for healthy foods that wouldn’t kill my girls.I found a list of the twelve most recommended foods for dogs that didn’t have questionable or un-American ingredients**read chicken or beef from China** and ended up with Nature’s Recipe dry dog food.So far, mixed with what little was left of the Beneful, Zush has stepped up and ate it .Kasia hasn’t been too hungry so far tonight.

It’s an irony that I have to worry about what food is out there that might be killing my girls. I am indeed selfish that way-I want them with me as long as possible. In turn, I shudder to think of what Jim and I have ingested because of the deregulation of human food in prior years.

It is truly a scary time.

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Heartbeat

It’s St. Valentine’s Day.

I know a lot of single friends and there are all sorts of witty sayings going around on Facebook to either jab at those without a mate, or to commiserate with them.I feel for single folks, as I was one for 42 years and do remember what it is like.

For the past 15 years, I have been blessed to have Jim in my life.It was the classic 42 year-old spinster and the 48 year-old bachelor and yet here we are, almost 13 years later in our marriage, and it is safe to say that Jim still makes my heart skip a beat.

It’s funny,because I went to see 50 Shades of Grey with my neighbor last night, as Jim deemed it a chick thing.Yet for all the images conjured up by the movie,my best friend, lover and husband is indeed the one who makes my heart still skip a beat.We haven’t gone through children, only fur kids which can be up there with human children,deaths of parents,selling houses, moving, buying houses,jobs,retirement,illnesses, and, well, you catch my drift.We are on the road to hopefully growing old together,hoping that we are that blessed to accomplish that.

If you are reading this and single,I would tell you to hang in there if you are still looking, or good for you if you are comfortable in your current situation.If you are married like me, I hope you had a marvelous St.Valentine’s day.Savor love all 365 days a year, not just today.If you have lost your love one,cherish their memory!

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It finally caught up.

When I was in the city, I chronically suffered from sinusitis.

I knew, after my initial diagnosis back when I was 17, how to handle it.It didn’t make things easier.But pretty much, about every quarter, I would get stuck with almost a sinus migraine. When I got down here, I was counting my blessings,thinking I was feeling pretty good.

When I got up this morning, I knew my old friend was back.I did not miss the ton of bricks on my forehead.Post-nasal drip? Nah, I thought it skipped town. I should be so lucky.In the grand scheme of things, though, I am ok.I know this is something that will pass. Hopefully with a hot shower and early to bed, I’ll get through the night ok.

Retirement is good,even when you aren’t feeling well.

In sickness and health

My friend Juls has been getting over a bug for the better part of the week.

Jim has joined her, albeit long distance.

It started earlier this week, when Jim first got sick and thought it was just passing.It is times like this that I miss the proximity of our doctor, because he really didn’t look too good to me, and I admit I was a little scared. His color got a little better but then today it seems like he rebounded into it again.

Hopefully this will run its’ course and he’ll be feeling better soon. It’s in time for the nor’easter that is due to hit this area tonight and tomorrow.Nothing like feeling miserable and having miserable weather to accompany it.

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Typing with one eye open.

They say that there is often sympathetic pain when a family member is suffering.

Zush has her issue with the cyst on her rear left leg. Me? My lower spine is knotted up tighter than a Philadelphia soft pretzel. I had been sleeping off and on since four o’clock this afternoon .My brother-in-law and Jim’s nephew Tom were over and I was completely oblivious to it,

Now I am up and having a little rice pudding for dinner, typing the post, and then a shower and bed, only to be up at three to head back up to the city.It truly will be sweet once the two of us are back on all our wheels again.

Here’s hoping your night is good, your week is better and the weekend comes really quickly!

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Fur Mom’s Love

When we last left our heroine, Zush, she was bleeding from a ruptured cyst located in her back left paw. When we cleaned up her blood from her leg,it just looked soggy, as though she got wet swimming in the bay.

I brought her into our new vet down here at Undisclosed. As a fur mom, it is always comforting to have a diagnosis confirmed. The new vet had said that we could have it off in Philadelphia. I said no, I’d like it done here.It is possible to monitor her and keep her leg clean and tape it up and once we are established here, I could book her date and this way she’d be home with me.

I think Kasia knows something is up with her sister and is just a wee bit kinder to her.I am sure that Zush would be feeling better with that cyst off. I just have to work some prayers that my girl will have no problem with her anesthesia.

Hold a good thought for her, ok? Thanks.

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The Perils of Pauline,er, Zush…

We managed to get in to the vet with Zush today.She isn’t yelping all the time, but the sporadic yelps let me know she is uncomfortable.He gave her another shot of cortisone and we are leash walking her only for potty walks so she can heal.

It’s a job.

After we got her in for her first shot, combined with the pain killers, she was feeling so good she went and tweaked her back again.That’s the rough part about working. You don’t know if you missed her doing something or she did it while we were working or what.It’s frustrating because you don’t know why and, like an infant or toddler, you are left to wonder what’s the problem.

Down here at Undisclosed, I found a new vet, who is willing to help us until we are down here full-time. I am going to be working with the Cape May Veterinary Hospital with taking care of Zush as needed when we are down here. Eventually they’ll be our new vet.They were so nice over the phone and I felt comforted by them and knew it would be a good fit with the girls.

Hold good thoughts for both the fur girls, especially Zush.

We’ll keep you posted.

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Pink month,er, green?red?yellow?

I have had numerous cancers in my 54 years.

Cervical,to start, then breast, then thyroid, and sprinkle in some skin cancer along the way.

I was at the dermatologist today having a squamous cell carcinoma taken off my face located in front of my right ear.I had four biopsies last month, and cock-eyed optimist, me,well, I had made this appointment today with hope of going in only to get biopsy stitches out.Hah! I,in the back of my head, knew better.

The cancer that they took today was one that I found.Oh yes;I am an old pro at this by now. It was raised and starting to get itchy.I asked them to take it when I went for my annual check-up.I was very fortunate, for now.It was in the state of being ” in situ”.This meant it was so early that they couldn’t even put a stage on it yet.I can’t conclude on it yet, as I have to wait for the results of what was taken today. The physician hopefully got clean edges, which would show the cancer has not spread.If the edges turn out to be not”clean”, well, I’ll be back in for treatment.

My skin is light and freckled and my eyes are hazel.I know I am prone to this, and sometimes sunscreen isn’t a safe enough guard.The thing is I CHECK.No matter what, I CHECK!

Gentle reader; I appreciate all of you and would like you to keep on reading.Please be here to do so.Check yourselves for cancer.It may not be your favorite thing to do but it saves lives.I have lost a niece to cancer and other sporadic family members have had it.Trust me-we don’t want any more members in our club.

Your life is priceless!

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The week that was…

It has been a really long week.

Zosia’s injury had worn really worried us both, but she is working her way toward getting herself better, and with a watchful eye, we’ll keep our girl around for a good long while.

Then there was the camping out on the Schuylkill expressway in the bus.

To end the workweek, I started dealing with having to go to a needed doctor’s appointment this coming Wednesday which opens up more insecurity.Am I approaching retirement with the right health carrier? Do I need someone else?Do we switch physicians?Fortunately, this is a four-day weekend for me, and I am scheduled for a seminar about my retirement benefits in two weeks. It doesn’t stop the worry though.

Jim is just struggling dealing with me and Zush and everything else.

It goes without saying that a restful weekend is hoped for.

Here’s hoping yours is the same.

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Your kids, fur kids…

I have been constantly harped on by certain folk, who have since been left by me on the wayside, about how I should have adopted children but I was selfish for choosing animals.Oh well….my fur kids are my kids. No excuses.

So I have new sympathy for parents,going through what I have with Zush the past few days.She had her shot, she’s getting her medicine, but she’s still yelping, albeit nowhere as much as she had been. I know I have to know miracles don’t happen, and she’s getting older, and the end result? I just want her to be better.Her yelping gets me.I know she can’t tell me, and I know I have a job to be at and I can’t be with her every minute.I feel like a mom running after a kid with a tissue to wipe its’ news.

Would I change it for a minute? Hell no. I am blessed to have my two girls.

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Zosiacare

Too bad my girl doesn’t qualify for Obama care..lol

All of a sudden Zush was in such apparent pain she kept leaving little yelps of pain out to let us know something wasn’t right. My nephew Gregory was kind enough to get over to the vet yesterday and pick up her Tramadol for her arthritis.That, we thought, would have resolved the issue but it didn’t.

This morning was not a fun scene. Zush obviously in pain yelping, Kasia wondering what’s wrong and me crying because, yes, damn it, they’re my fur kids.Managed to get through the day to 1:30, when I could leave for the girl’s 2:30pm appointment.

She was in such pain Jim had trouble getting her out of the car, but she got down and into the vet we went. Evidently, Zush’s spine was out of whack and now, with a steroid shot, and slow bathroom only walks, we’ll have our Zush up to speed in new time.When you are talking about a fur baby that’s 12 years old, well we had a big sigh of relief for our girl.She is the rock of our lives!

Below is a shot of Jim’s arm as he carries our Zush out of the back of the car.

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To Paraphrase Seinfeld’s George..

The expressway was angry that day.

Well, not actually the expressway.

I left work at 5PM.

Where my bus would take the exit, there was a major back-up on the expressway because the accident closed the main road up to my current homestead.Fortunately,my nephew Greg was there to save the day.

Zush isn’t feeling well: she’s in some pain. Greg was able to go to the vet for me and pick up her medicine.We were going to meet and I was going to pay him and then we’d part.Little did we know from the texts we exchanged and I exchanged with Jim that I would still be on the bus at 6:24 and not able to get off until 6:35 by Greg’s phone.He was the one who found out what happened and I was able to relay the news to my new friends on the bus.It was like being on a lifeboat.You let your loved ones know you were ok and put dinner in the refrigerator because it’s going to be a while until I come home.Then there were the “Hello Dr Soso? I can’t make my 6:15 appointment, as I am parked in a 9 bus on the Schuylkill expressway.”There were no useless conversations on the bus today.We were all tired and frustrated adults who just wanted to get home.

Retirement looking really good right now.

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Living out of a suitcase…sort of

Our home of twelve years was sold last June.

I’m not due to retire until this coming January, God willing.

I’m living at my late parent’s house. it is truly transitional housing.

What does this spell?

My handbag is my life.

Women accessorize.It’s a given. Fashion’s fifth avenue has more than enough magazines where you can blink and you still won’t miss the newest handbags on the editorial fashion pages, if not the ads.We are taught that it is an extension of ourselves. Sure it is, until we have our first chiropractic visit or physical therapy trying to regain a normal state in our shoulders, arms or back.Yes, you, reading this rubbing your sore shoulder. You know what I am talking about.

Most working women have their lives, to some degree in a handbag.After all, we carry them, we keep our transit fares in them, our building passes in them, house keys in them, make-up in them, cell phone, e-reader, and so on, and so on…you catch my drift?

Well, being between two houses, I am in a constant state of,” Oh, I might need this:I’ll put it in my bag.” That’s starts one thing, and as Jim likes to call it, you end up having an avalanche effect.For example, as soon as I post this blog, I have to figure out to get a few pounds off the handbag.**chuckling**I know many women, myself included, who could clean out their handbag twice weekly and still wake up in the morning wondering what gremlin got in and throws even more stuff in our handbags.

I thought I was saying something when I went to a Vera Bradley bag, thinking cloth has to be lighter than leather.Yeah, right.The material doesn’t matter,when you put your belongings into it.

I am going to post this, and then,well, my handbag is not the fabric of the picture below but it is of this style, which of course, is so serviceable that Vera Bradley discontinued it!**sigh**
I will go and try to lighten the load.Of course, it goes without saying that I look forward to the time I’ll be living in our new home and won’t need my “stuff’ clogging up my handbag.

Feel free to share your handbag stories with me. I’m all ears.

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Football

My “home team” is the Philadelphia Eagles, and as I am typing this, Jim is watching the game.

I watch the game and I wonder why would they abuse their bodies with all these hits to the body and cash the check.Do they worry what will happen to their lives even five years from now.I know they are getting large salaries, but if they keep getting body blows, well, do they even think about it?Don’t they say if you have your health, you have everything.

I remember reading about players from the sixties being diagnosed with dementia and other diseases from all these hits through the years. I know there is a concussion protocol that the NFL follows, but still.What do these players weigh? And they hit down on the field on the turf

I hope they save some of that money for their healthcare.

Yoga

I eventually want to really do yoga.

My flip fitness class incorporates some of the stretches of yoga in the class.I am sitting now watching a show on New Jersey PBS about the benefits of yoga as you get older-the show was called Easy Yoga, the secret to strength and balance.

They claim one out of three people over 65 will fall next year, and correspondingly, they will break a body part.I enjoyed this show because it actually told you about what you would do in yoga and how it would help your life, from a physical aspect.

It’s definitely something I’ll be looking into-God knows I have fallen enough.

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It Was Thirty Years Ago Today**

** with apologies to Lennon and Mc Cartney

It was thirty years ago today,
The city of Philly started giving me pay….

Nah, I can’t twist those lyrics that badly, especially since I like that song.

But…

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service.On this day in 1977, NASA sent the Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820 pound spacecraft into orbit.On this day in 1984, I became a full-time employee of the city of Philadelphia.

Thirty years.**shaking my head**

I can’t believe it.

I am truly blessed, especially in the day of companies relocating, folding, high unemployment….

My nephews Matthias and Gregory weren’t even born yet.My parents were both alive and I was living in the home I grew up in.I was probably**gulp** 80 pounds thinner and a lot more optimistic.I know I was scared. I left a small publishing house to work for the city.And now, thirty years later, I work a half city block away from the home of that first post college job.

Full circle? Yup, it certainly seems that way.

I thank my brother Bob for kicking my butt into getting this job.Without this job I’d probably not be here writing this blog.My medical plan from this job got me into a protocol for my first cancer.Without it, I might have died.When I started this job, my Mom asked me to call her in the morning when I got to my desk so she didn’t have to worry about me here in the city. Toward the waning years of her life, I called her every morning to make sure she was ok.The circle of life strikes again.

It’s funny.I appreciate being my age, but that melancholia can envelope you when you stop to think about back then.I’d like to think I have learned from my mistakes I have made, and with what I have learned, stare the future down and say ,”Here I come.”

Thank God!

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Don’t blink…

When someone would normally tell you that,they don’t want you to miss anything: something important is coming up.

My blinks, these days, are sporadic.They neglect to tell you how temperamental an eye is. As the day gets later, my right eye is awfully sore and tired. I actually had to write this entry before I take the ointment and put it in my eye. Once it is in, my right eye vision gets fuzzy from the medicine. It’s a two edge sword, because as fuzzy as it gets, I really don’t need an infection in my eye.There are only six more days of putting the ointment in twice a day, then the next and last week, I only need to put it in once a day

Thank goodness I still have one working eye, but at this time of the day, it’s just as tired as the right eye.

Good night!

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Eye-eye!

I am to have a procedure tomorrow morning.

On my lower right eye-lid, I have a growth right by the tear duct.They say they “think” it isn’t cancer. I said let’s make sure.

The office is a two bus ride away from the house. In a lot of cases today, physicians have surgery suites right in the building where their offices are.I’ll get myself over and Jim will have to bring me back.I have been told that I’ll have to take it easy over the weekend, and my eye will possibly be patched up to keep foreign bodies out of it.

It’s nothing that I haven’t been through before, in one form or another. You always are a lithe scared, and usually I pray, a lot, to help me mentally get through.So if you miss a post or two, well , it’ll be because it’s rough being a one-eyed pirate.

I’ll catch you when I am a little better in post-op.

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Maybe the right bone’s connected to the…

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…well, you know the rest of that old song.

I had physical therapy yesterday and was pretty excited. I got to officially go on the stationary bike for 10 minutes and learned a few more exercises. I was sore but felt good.

Until this morning.

You know when you sit too long and you get pins and needles in your leg(s)? Well, it was scary. I was leaving the house with my right leg, which is the leg with the hip bursitis, half with pins and needles.All I could think is what if I fall? I went very slowly to the bus and have been walking rather gingerly in order to get to work in one piece.I called my physical therapist as soon as I got in, ate some breakfast, took some Aleve and am waiting patiently to see what direction I should take. I also have a frozen small bottle of water on my lower back. I have no idea what to do, and will wait patiently.

**sigh**

Wearing purple….channeling future black and blue marks

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For some reason I put a purple shirt on today.

Oh yeah…then I remembered, I am going for my orthopaedic visit this morning and can envision the needle that will be in my future: I admit it’s not something I am looking forward to. I had gone for the x-ray last night to find out the good news that my hip is not broken.**big shocker there-NOT** However, the radiologist read the film and pronounced bony deterioration.

Translated? I missed the bullet with this fall, but have got to quit falling, NOW.

This just reaffirms the statement I made in a prior post.

“Old age is not for sissies.”

**sigh**

X-Men, er, ray…

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The inevitable day has happened: I have to go for the hip X-Ray.

**Sigh**

I wanted to try to take it on Friday but wasn’t well enough. I was going go try this morning.I figured I didn’t need to take the chance on being late.This afternoon, I am going to kiss my afternoon goodbye after work and go get it done. My local hospital is called ” Memorial Hospital”. I joke that they call it memorial for a reason. It goes without saying that the quality of care lacks big time.

Tomorrow is the appointment and hopefully some relief.

**fingers crossed**

The right bone is connected to the left…

003***Sigh***

Old age is not for sissies. I read this all the time.

I walk my dogs, take an exercise class, eat lighter now that it’s warm out.

I am in pain.

I thought it started as sciatica, but it stopped traveling and the hip just hurts.I waver between icing it or taking an anti-inflammatory, but I am afraid it’s going past that and medical assistance might be needed.Of course, I really don’t want to pay an orthopaedic man $30 to tell me I need to drop some weight. I KNOW THAT.

I need to lose this pain.

Stay tuned to this blog for the medical update of dancing in the world of medical co-pays, referrals, and hopefully, pain relief.

Sausage legs

Zush gets her vet visit on Friday morning and I went to my doctor today.

Evidently, the equation of more than halting off a water pill is not very smart, as far as I am concerned.My legs have been swollen, I am not a salt girl, and I was scared.

I went to my doctor this morning with my low blood pressure and he determined that going from 50 mg to 12.5mg wasn’t working….you think?

New medication starts today so we’ll see what’s what. I can’t say I am in pain: I just am really uncomfortable.

Stay tuned.

Blue skies for some

Today was the dermatologist visit.

Never mind the fact that they kept me waiting forty-five minutes,knowing that my nerves were shot from worrying about the result.Then, as I sit in the examining room,I hear the resident and the nursing assistant and the doctor conversing about my biopsy results. Two seemed to concur that they couldn’t be found-oh, what a comforting feeling..NOT.The resident was then told by the dermatologist that my biopsy results were sent to a neighboring university hospital that rhymes with Men.It seems that if you are a HMO patient, that’s where your samples are allegedly sent.Uh, ok.sure…

The stitches came out and then the resident brought the dermatologist in.Well, I figured I’d ask the million dollar question: what were my biopsy results.The dermatologist? ” Cancer all gone.”

What am I? TWO?

Suffice it to say I will not be taking him at his word but will be writing to request a copy of the biopsy results be sent to yours truly.Once I can read it, only THEN I’ll believe it.

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It’s quiet.

It’s 1:17am and I am the only one awake in our home.

Amazing what trying to rebound from slipping and falling will do to you.

I crashed and burned about 9:30pm and Kept my aching body under the covers. I had a scare when walking the girls last night that the ligament behind the right knee was not feeling too supportive and I have not felt that in a long, long time.It’s hard to believe that it’s going to be three years since the knees were replaced.Jim and I both agree that we have to shake off this temporary abode malaise and start getting our act together. I personally am looking forward to having a fully working kitchen again and flatlands to exercise myself and the pups in.

Bring it on!

Below? An almost three year old picture of the knees while in rehab…lovely, right?
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Rough to Exercise

I had my flip fitness exercise class tonite.

Even though the weather kept some gals away, there were enough of us to keep moving for a while.
It felt good to be able to do so, even though I was a little more pensive than I normally would have been. I found that the physical activity lets your mind work on a few things too!I walked into the class with the world on my shoulders, but when I left, the world wasn’t quite as heavy.

Hold a good thought for yours truly .I could use them right now.

Thanks.

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Goodbye my friend.

I do sick calls for the Church.

I see three, maybe four people.One of them is my pal Sue.

After getting off the phone now, I have mixed emotions.Her secondary caregiver informed me they started her on hospice yesterday. She is getting morphine for pain every four hours.

**sigh**

Sue and I have talked about dying and pain and how she wants to see her Mom again, and the two of us believe she will.Being Catholic, it’s one strong belief we both share.She could talk about it to me, because we know we could always talk about anything.We even kind of laughed about it, because the last time we talked about it, we chuckled that she would have the last laugh and one day I’d come down to see her and she won’t be there.

So I’ll go see her today, and Jim and the girls will go with me.I know in my heart that she wants to go, but as I type this, I know the emotions I have will be rough. I don’t even know if she’ll be awake from the morphine.

She has been a major part of my married life. She was a friend I could talk husbands with, talk dogs with, joke about weather girls with.

I always joked that when she goes to heaven, to help me out while I am down here.I’ll miss her, but she will always be in my heart.

Yes, We have no bananas…

We haven’t been feeling well.

Our pantry shows it.

It is funny how you manage to find things that you have purchased not
that long ago, and figure, ok, it’s for a rainy day.

Uh, surprise! That rainy day is here.

It is a question of what we can eat, because the G.I. bug has stuck us
hard.Fortunately we had staples in the house, helped by my last day out,
when I bought ginger ale and saltines.We tried Chinese(bland) last night,
and it worked for me, but not so much Jim.

I’ll be glad when we are better!

The arthritic generation

Ow.

It’s 2:15am and my shoulder is killing me. Not a fresh, just fell down
type of ache, but an ache of my age.The post 50 yank of a dog leash,
heavy handbag on shoulder,carrying 16 years of school books
shoulder, the Charles Atlas carrying the weight of the world on
me shoulders.

The orthopedic physician has diagnosed it as arthritis, and it’s
amazing to me what a weather front awakens in that ache. I remember as a
kid, watching the Beverly Hillbillies on television and seeing
Granny brew up some “rheumatism” medicine…lol…what I would
give for some now to take the ache away.

My father was a big advocate of rubbing alcohol on sore muscles
and joints. I have done that already.A couple aspirin? Also
done.

Sleep. don’t fail me now!

Rough

I make sick calls for my Church, bringing Communion to those who can’t make it to Mass.

Last night I stopped first and saw my buddy Sue. What a rough visit.

Her condition is going downhill.Her husband, although he probably knows it, doesn’t say it.
So when he is out of the room talking to my husband, Sue and I talk about a lot of things.
Basically we talk about dying.

Her quality of life is getting poorer by the day. She was speaking of how she can’t get in
the car and ride any more.She can’t walk Eby, her dog.As ahe speaks to me, the tears fall
from her eyes. Her degenerative brain disease obviously hasn’t gotten to her emotions
yet, although she told me yesterday her eyes are starting to fail.

I did manage to make her laugh though.

We talked about her leaving and eventually seeing her family again, as is the belief or
the faith we share.I told her that one day I would come to see her and she wouldn’t be
there.I looked at her straight in the eye and asked her who’d have the last laugh?

She said she would, of course….and we both started laughing.

Hold a good thought , or say a prayer for Sue if you would, please.
It’s rough,leaving one spot behind.

Thanks…appreciate it!

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Hacking…

It’s Saturday and guys are working on putting the plywood on our roof.

Yay!

We have to go get some breakfast, though;I have to get some medicine in me.
The post-nasal drip is turning into a hell of a smokers cough: it sounds like I’d walk a mile for a camel…lol. Not necessarily the sound I want to come from these lungs of mine.

We are off later to see my friend B, who currently is at a few Undisclosed places above ours.
I am looking forward to that because I haven’t seen her in a few years, and although Facebook is nice, in person is better.

Enjoy your Saturday!

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Praying,waiting and watching…

The trip up for Zush had the vet telling me that Zush has to be watched.

We have to stop one med and watch her.As it gets a little cooler this week, we’ll
see if there is any change.Hopefully there will be, God willing. If not,down to
the vet we go on Monday morning.

Managed to get some laundry done and have issues perking that are right on
time to keep my head weighed down even more. All a part of life, I guess. I
made sick calls for Church, only to be told my buddy is now sleeping half a day.
Just the kind of stuff to break your heart.

Hopefully,the shore will pick us back up, at least for a little while.

**Fingers crossed**

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Wasted Day of Emotion

I wasn’t in good shape today.

My Zosia girl is 12 years old, and the heat and humidity at Undisclosed was getting to her. The internet, being a curse and blessing, had me looking up symptoms on-line and I, quite frankly was losing it. I had no motivation to do anything today but to be by her side.

It is amazing how conscious you can be of loss, or impending loss,as I felt when my parents were leaving me.I know Zush now tends to have issues like she had today: doesn’t make things any easier for me though.

I just keep praying that I have my best bud around for a few more years. Yes I know it’s selfish but the loss would truly go down to my core.

Hold a good thought and prayer for the Zusher- she gives so much good karma and happiness to people, I am hoping she gets to do it for a bit longer.

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Bad air quality days

Waking up this morning, I was greeted by the weather station informing me of the warning for a
bad air quality day.

I wonder how much of this is done due to holes in the ozone layer, industrial pollution and the
like.I remember as a kid we never heard warnings like this. The worst you had to deal with then was
high humidity.As you are going through your day, and you get to be in my age group(+50),you
sound a little wheezy.

I really can’t escape the bad air days in center city-after all, you work in an office building where the air has poor circulation.

I think Mother Nature tries to get our attention: I shudder to think of how much more that we
have to experience.

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Today’s the day..

Hopefully ,by this time tomorrow,I’ll have an idea of what is going on with my back. The pain has gotten down considerably with Aleve and icing at night and morning. When you have enough medical history as I do, well,it still gives you a few nervous moments.

We went on a family walk last night and all enjoyed the nice breezy weather.It’s incredible to see how much more energy Zush has, as do I, when the weather breaks for a bit. It made me stop and realize that half of August is gone.

Enjoy your Thursday!

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In the wee small hours…

So to follow-up on yesterday’s post, the web, being a curse and a blessing,had me icing my sore hip last night and early this morning.It helped alleviate the discomfort a wee bit, but…

Who did I find while I was icing?

Martha Stewart.

Yup, Martha was on PBS at 3am with “Martha’s cooking class”…the things they have on television at that hour…lol.

I was a big Martha fan back in the day, when I was younger and the Food Network was only a twinkle in Comcast’s eye.I watched her show, I had her cookbooks, and subscribed to her publication, Hey, I had to: after all, wasn’t she a Polish girl who made good? I figured maybe some of that Polish karma would rub off on an ethnic sister…lol…as Martha’s motto went.” It’s a good thing.”

It is amazing how the Food network ran over her, and the fact that she had some time in prison certainly gave FN some leverage.Funny, but I remember when she was on trial, and thinking her image was shot in my mind.Yet this morning, here she was, many Imclone years behind her and probably a facelift or two in her wake.Have I missed her? Not really. She will always have played a part in developing my culinary interests, and this morning, she gave me a quick trot down memory lane.

Dzienkuje, Martha!

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Perils of Pauline, er Mar…

Getting old is certainly not for sissies.

I am at it again.

There has been some major lower back pain that is so sharp it takes my breath away.
I figured it’s time to stop being a martyr,not that it gets me anywhere, and see about
finding out what ‘s going on.

It’s incredible how you go back and think,” Did I trip carrying this or that, did I throw
my leg out and stub my toe…” Of course with knee replacements, all I can hear is the
knee surgeon saying about when people mess things up and have to come back and see him and
it ends up that the knee has to get repaired AGAIN.**ARGH**

Asking you, my reader, to send some prayers, good karma, or whatever my way.

No matter what it is, it’s much appreciated!

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A good buddy on a downhill slope

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In prior blog posts, I had written about my friend with a degenerative brain disease.

She had been diagnosed about 5 years ago, and has been going slowly downhill, which has been
so hard for us who love her to watch.We hang in there with her though, because she, even in her illness, is a good friend.

If you can’t find the prior post, she is a former neighbor who made friends with me from the day I moved in,eleven years ago. Her fur-child is Eby, a beautiful male golden retriever. We used to tease about Zush being Eby’s wife-we had many a good chuckle over that. Fortunately Zush is spayed so no worries for me.

I can remember her illness coming on as if it were yesterday. Jim,Zush and I were with her and Eby walking the trail of the Wissahickon. She was complaining about feeling off-balance sometimes, which I said maybe the doctor would tell her it was vertigo.

It wasn’t

I always would walk up twice or 3 times a week when I lived on the block, and we would chew the fat for a while. As her condition has deteriorated, I kept that up,until when we moved this last month. Now I only get to see her once a week.

Yesterday was her 62nd birthday.

If you are of some free time, please throw up a prayer or good thought for my buddy. No one should have to go through what she is.

Friday five

This Friday I am thankful for the accomplishment of making it through some major trauma Although its a observation , as I am only a player in the band, the whole thing went too damn fast.

I am happy that’s it Jim’s birthday this weekend . I love him very much and the fur girls love him too…..

I looking forward to a break from overtime and just some time to my self to mourn the passing of a guy I worked with.

The weather seems delightful and I am sure we’ll be doing our share of walking.

I have made my way through Most of my life ok. God has blessed me.

Enjoy life: it’s too short!

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No Drama Zone? **cleaning off glasses**

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There has been enough drama rolling around here.

One of my BFF’s, Denise, had to fly out to Hawaii in an emergency with her husband. Her Dad has died since she got there.

Another BFF, Cynthia, had a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and allegedly the surgeon got it all: they aren’t giving her any chemo or radiation.

We are trying to craft our way through the property to get it ready to sell.

I have a headache that won’t quit…and it takes almost nothing to rest my eyes but for a minute and catch my head wobble over to my desk.

Here’s hoping your day goes a little smoother.

Here’s hoping my head gets a wee bit better!

Can’t type this…..

…because I am keeping my nose down to the keyboard, trying to get my work done.
After all, work done =day done- one day to cross off of the calendar and closer to
departure time.
It’s humorous, that this is what I have had to retreat to.
Comes a time in your work life that you just don’t need the horseshit, and
all you want to do is go on to the next chapter of your life-work related or not.
For all of you trying to blow sunshine and flowers at me and tell me I’m special,
do me a favor and don’t.

Appreciate it!

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!

And they’re off…

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Or, at least, my friend Kathy is, physically.

Kathy developed a cough a little later than mine and I came in this morning to find out she developed pneumonia.
Wow!When I went to the doctor on Thursday, he gave me a referral for a chest x-ray. After hearing Kat’s diagnosis, you
can bet your bottom dollar I will be going to get it done!

Tempers are flaring off here regarding property taxes.Things are in such a spin here, and as we are property owners as well,
I would say if I worked somewhere else, I’d be right there with them. I guess if people open their mouths and protest,
then someone,hopefully, will listen to their concerns.

Personally, I am just sitting back watching the race for the last person leaving the city who is going
to be left to turn out the light?

Hacking

For once it wasn’t my sinuses. Imagine that.

I went to the Doctor today and ended up with two inhalers, cough suppressants, and a referral for a chest x-ray. Can you say viral?

Gee, knew I was sick.

Jim mimics my cough, but as lousy as mine sounds, you can multiply his by 10. I just hope his doesn’t turn into a hospital trip, since he wouldn’t go to the doctor.

The fur girls know we are sick~ pretty compassionate!

We’ll keep you posted!

A very special Friday thanks…

It’s 20 years ago today that I finished my first total completion of cancer treatment.

I had cervical cancer at age 33. I lucked into Jefferson Hospital and Dr. Charles Dunton. I had radiation, chemotherapy and a radiation implant. The treatment was so successful, the tumor was gone, and I had to have a hysterectomy to make sure it hadn’t spread further.

Without all of this, I wouldn’t be here. I am truly thankful this Friday.

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Still not right

I really am scaring myself a little.

I’d be scaring myself more if I didn’t know I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday.

It’s lousy to know you don’t feel well, and then to try yourself back up by the bootstraps, well, it takes a ton of mental brawn and backbone.

I really ticked off that my cough seems to have returned on top of all the other stress from the week.

It’s gotta be me or the other- it’s the ME turn to come out number 1.

February Friday Five

Managed to escape from the big city for a little.

When we got down to Undisclosed, we came through snow and cold. It’s nice. Nice clear air to clean the city crap out of my lungs.The girls are in heaven running out in the back yard playing in the snow!

We get to go out to dinner tonight with our friends. We don’t get a chance to go often, so it promises to be a nice night. It’s always good to hang with good friends.

My health is decent enough that I managed to donate a pint of blood. I remember post-chemo when I couldn’t. I am happy I can.

It’s cold enough that snuggling on the flannel sheets under the comforter tonight, well, if it stays cold, I’m not going to want to leave the bed tomorrow. Oh…Saturday….yay! I CAN stay in bed.

I’m looking forward to a Superbowl party Sunday at my friend’s house.We don’t always go to one, and I am rooting for as close to local as I am going to get, the Ravens.

Have a good weekend!

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Friday five

1. I am so over eggs, bread and milk: I.e., anticipation of snowy weather. We just spent one hour in the grocery store . Argh!

2.Same weather equals home cooking. Macaroni & cheese and slow cooked pulled pork on the menu, plus juicing, of course,

3. Being away from the city makes the quiet so lovely!

4.The sheets on the bed are clean and flannel. Yay!

5. I could not be happier to share this weather with my family and friends. Let it snow!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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After the ball was over….

…don’t worry if you don’t recognize the title as part of a 1930’s-1940’s song…I can’t recall the actual title of it, as it dates back to my Mom singing it to me as a child.

I just figured that the holidays, for all intents and purposes, are done, and now it’s back to work,**ugh** and fighting off the winter sinus visit, cough of the century tours, etc…I am sure you catch my drift.

I made it back into the office today and for someone who had no liquor through the New Year’s holidays, I felt awfully hung over. There wasn’t enough caffeine to snap me out of the fog of the day.

Here’s hoping we all make it through the rest of the winter, relatively unscathed

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Well, well…

Juicing is working its mojo.

I got blood test results back and called Shingleman.

My blood sugar is 95. All my other numbers have taken a little dive, and I feel pretty darn good.

I am not going to lie to you and say I am not hankering for a steak or other red meat, but I seem to be getting through ok and that is what matters. I know Jim’s support of me in this  has been vital and I think we are both feeling better for the effort. It was a little rough there, as we were a bit hungry. but learned that adding the walnuts, flax-seed and shelled unsalted sunflower seeds got us over that hump.

Today is day 31 of juicing.It’ll be interesting to see how far this can go.

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Good morning

So I am sitting here in my neighborhood Dunkin’Donuts, having taken public transit up to a doctor’s appointment. Having been blessed enough to get through three cancers, I don’t,as a rule, let my health slide. Mom took priority, but as she is gone eleven months now,well, time to play catch up.

Sitting in DD, I am a table away from some locals discussing current events. A livelier crew I have not come across in a while. Due to the Duchess of Cambridge’s current extreme morning sickness, well, these folks are dissecting the situation to the nth degree. I can imagine the staff here. It would be worth the price of working here to get the floor show.

Now that I am full of current events, I guess it’s time for the doctors.

Have a wonderful day.

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Ron Burgundy

It’s been that type of day.

So now, after helping Shingleman prep our dinner, what would I find on HBO but Anchorman, starring Will Farrell. This movie is so funny, and it actually transforms me back to that era. I also laugh when how I see how many stars “started” out with some sort of role in the movie; be it supporting or guest star.

We’re having lemon, ginger, strawberry, orange, cucumber, kale, parsley, apple and carrot juice for dinner . We’ll enjoy it while watching the rest of the movie.

You stay classy, Sam Diego!

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A lot of grapes

“…a lot of grapes…”

That’s what Shingleman just called in from the kitchen.

We are on day 17 of juicing our one meal a day. It’s been an awakening. I for one, hate to write this, let alone say it,**whispering**… I feel good!

We have been doing kale, celery, cucumber ,grapes,lemon, carrot and apple. Our “desert” is raw I salted walnuts, unsalted shelled sunflower seeds and flax seed. We eat the seeds as if we were eating a small custard cup.

This has been an accomplishment. I think we are going ok!

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Eighteen years redux….

I am cheating.

With the help of some editing, here’s a post from last year, brought up to date..thanks for bearing with me.

Now nineteen years ago, I was thirty-three years old. I had moved out on my own. And three months into my independence, I had a really bad lower back ache. You know how when you are hurting eventually you can get yourself into a position to fall asleep? Well, that November, I had my first 48 hours of NO sleep-the pain was that intense.

A visit to my gynecologist, who was an old guy in his late 70′s and on staff at Jefferson, revealed a cervical tumor the size of a grapefruit. Funny how as I never had any issues before in my life and here you go: what do I get butmy first one comes out of the gate like gangbusters. I was on the doorstep of stage three cancer.

Welcome to the world of cancer.

Fortunately, I had the luck of being sent down to a oncologic gynecological surgeon, Charles Dunton, who was working on a protocol for cervical cancer. I had daily radiation, chemotherapy, a radiation implant, and two weeks prior to my scheduled total hysterectomy, my pre-operative exam found NO tumor! The surgeon said he would have never know what was there, if he hadn’t been in on my case from the beginning. They had to do my surgery, because there was no guarantee the cancer hadn’t gone into my lymph nodes.One of my BFF’s, Kate, would come down from Pittsburgh on the weekends when I was in Jeff and there is no better buddy in the world…**Note to Kate-how I remember those 7th floor Gibbon visits-you ALWAYS were my rock!**

Fast forward through later cancers and health issues, loss of family members, finding my Jim, gaining two girls named Zush and Kasia, and my mother’s dementia and earlier this year, her passing.

God has me here for a reason, although when friends are suddenly gone due to cancer, I will be the first to admit the survivor’s guilt is great. I no longer wonder why I am still here. I just accept it, give thanks for it and realize a greater statement was never made than….” If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.

Here’s hoping to see you all for 20.

Thanks for reading.