A better Day....

After having the antibodic administered at the Doc's office and getting the pills to follow up for the next
10 days Michael is feeling better....The headache and sinus problems are going away...and he has a bit more energy!  Plans are even being made for New Years Eve!
We had a wonderful celebration with our small family on Monday, even though Michael did not feel well...
The little love was such a joy to be with....He would open up something and just want to sit and play...which was allowed because no one had a time restraint on them....A fine meal was had and life is good!
BE WELL....

No chemo today...

Because Michaels's white cell count is so low...they could not give him chemo today...They gave him a
booster shot to help the body make more white cells...and they put him on an antibiotic...Today he got a
IV antibiotic that took an hour to start him off....they have rescheduled his chemo for next week hoping that
he will take a turn for the better....He has the beginning of a cold and his resistance is so low that he can NOT
get a cold....
However...we are going ahead with our plans for a small family gathering with our kids andthe little love to celebrate our Christmas....Christmas day is just to hectic to do all that...this way everyone can relax, as they have no where to be but here....We will take it slow and easy....
BE WELL...
"Merry★ 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˚* _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•*/______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• | 田田|門| ˚And a Happy New Year! ♥ Much Love ♥"



Pattie and Michael
Kitt and Ivy too!  (the kitties!)

Sentimental...

This is the time of year when I get extremely sentimental...
With visions of days gone by...holding them close as if they
were new gifts to unwrap....
May you do the same...Remember all the love you have in
your life...then and now...
Happy Holidays...
BE WELL...

Christmas Happiness!

Telling Santa secrets!

Candy cane lilies!

IT's SNOWING....

A soft light fluffy snow....continuously all day...it looks beautiful (from inside the warm house!!)  This round of
chemo has really done Michael in....last time he did so much better with it...but it has caused him to have quite a few side effects this time...So, I am happy for the time off for him....we still will do blood work every week to make sure everything is on track....
In the meantime...I put up the tree today....but it only has the lights on it, and the angel on the top....and I actually like that look (who knows it may stay like that!)
And I undertook redoing the bathroom....I filled holes and took down light fixtures...painted...put up all new light fixtures...new towel racks and paper holder...I am going to put in a new floor...vanity...and toilet within the next couple days!!  Seems I am on a roll....It was a big undertaking, but I think I am doing really well....My son will help me with putting in all the big things...and it looks really nice so far!  Not to mention that I am very proud of myself for doing this....Next I tackle the kitchen (but I'll wait till after the holidays!...LOL)

Back on schedule...

We started chemo again yesterday...which puts us back on the schedule of every day for 4 days...
then 4 weeks off....which once again avoids the holiday! Starting back up again on the 27th....
This chemo treatment doesn't have a lot of side effects...which is great...and it does seem to be making
a difference in the size of the neck tumors....the blood work is "good" according to the Doctors...I have
finally figured out what "good" means.....it means it has not taken a turn for the worse!! Because the results
are the same week after week....low white counts....low red counts...and high large cell cancer counts....
It has taken me quite a long time to finally realize that is what they mean by "good"...it always confused me
as I was not seeing anything change...so guess what....when Michael was listening to the radio with his head
set on I finally asked for the explanation....(remember he doesn't want to know to much)
I am feeling better...it took a bit...but as normal as I can get right now...still making those gifts that I started
out with a bang making....but now it has come to more of a whimper!! (LOL)  I know everyone knows that
feeling...the excitement of something new....then suddenly it becomes something "old" and that magic falls off...
We play that game in a lot of areas of our lives...take things for granted that they will always be there...or we don't honor what it is that we have as totally special....We all need to do that....be aware of what is around us
every day...and marvel at the uniqueness of it...be grateful that we have it in our life...and let people know how
much they mean to us...
I am going to take the time to do that today....I am going to take the time to bring some of the magic front and center...and be thankful for all that I have....
BE WELL....

A touch of....

I don't know what!  I got sick the evening of Thanksgiving...well, if I think about it...it started during the day,
as I could not bring myself to eat to much at meal time...but I was told it was DELICIOUS!  And yesterday
was not much better....today...somewhat better....No one else seemed to come down with anything...which is good!
I have come to realize that when I do get under the weather it is usually just my body telling me to STOP...
SLOW DOWN...TAKE A REST!  Which is what I have been doing...Sleeping...lounging...resting up...
Chemo starts again on Monday...during that extra week that they gave Michael off...I noticed that he got out of breath very easily....lost a few pounds...short term memory was really bad...and he slept more...these are usually signs of anemia for him....So it will be interesting to see what the blood results are this week...
In the meantime....Christmas boxes have been taken out of the rafters....and decorations are starting to go up...
I am doing less this year....or at least that is what I am telling myself...guess that remains to be seen!
BE WELL...

Early Thanksgiving Blessings...

We received word today from the Oncologist that they are postponing the Chemo treatment for a week..
making the round every 28 days instead of 21 days....So this blessing allows for the Thanksgiving holiday
to be enjoyed without having chemo for the 3 days prior to it!!
We have to say that this is very happy news....as Michael is feeling pretty good...the lymph node tumors
appear to be shrinking...and another week off is welcomed...blood work will continue...
We have been doing a little Christmas shopping (I know early...early...early) but Michael is not good with
the crowds so we hope to have it done by the end of this week...this way we can settle back...put on the
Christmas music...bust open the eggnog...and ENJOY!
I am feeling a little indifferent lately....maybe it is the coming of winter...maybe it is a combination of things...
but I know it will pass...so I keep busy...and laugh as much as I can...and believe that everything works out
exactly as it is suppose to...
May we all count our blessings today!
BE WELL...

Happy Veteran's Day!


Glitterfy.com - Flag Glitter Graphics


Shake a hand...
Say Thank You for serving...
Honor all that have served and
All that are serving and their families!
BE WELL.

"You can't always get what you want"

"...but if you try sometimes...you just might find... you get what you need"

I was reminded of this Rolling Stone song yesterday as my grandson was having a bit of a melt down because
the store we were in did not carry something that he was looking for (remember he is 5!) Calming him down I
started singing this song...Later in the evening I thought of the situation and remembered how many times over the past several years (as we travel this path) that I have had that exact same melt down...That I could not go...or do...or have something at the exact moment that I wanted it...and that it made me so unhappy(or rather I made myself so unhappy thinking/believing that somehow I was missing something) that I did not even see all the wonderful things that I do have (the old proverb of not being able to see the forest for the trees) ...I wondered what it is that causes one to believe that the NEED for something that we don't have is greater than what is already directly within our reach....
As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving I am finding a gratitude beyond what I have felt in the past...
Perhaps it is because I am aware that I already have what I need...
Count your blessings!
BE WELL...

Quiet week...

It has been a very welcomed quiet week....Blood work was done on Monday...but we will not get the results till we go in again this Monday....but the welcomed down time has allowed me to:
A. Start to clean the basement (a virtual accumulation of 22 years of things!)
B. Have a day trip to an Art Show with my sister and friends.
C. Continue to make the gifts for the Oncology Office.
D. Get together with friends.
E. Catch up on my sleep! (Naps..naps...and more naps!)

Latest..

This latest round of chemo is now completed....The results of course are never quite known...There will be several more rounds of this drug...4 days of chemo with 3 weeks off in between....blood work will have to be done every week to make sure the levels are good...The side effects were minimal which is great...he has been very lucky with side effects...never getting very many from any of the drugs he has had...
This round of chemo is what they call a "salvage" chemo....which means that he has not had improvement with the chemo that generally helps the type of cancer that he has....and our Doctors had hoped that his PR (partial remission) would of lasted much longer than the 6 months that we had without to many signs of progression.
Now we start making way for Halloween and then Thanksgiving....looking forward...enjoying each day as it comes our way...
As for me....well...I am trying to work on Christmas gift giving projects...There are 16 staff members in the office that I am making things for...and then there are the Doctors (which I don't know what I will do for them yet)...YES...it does seem to early to think about things like this, but when you are making things you just sort of have to!! LOL
BE WELL..

She always speaks to ME....

a depth

there was a depth inside her
that went beyond any words...
beyond any boundaries...
beyond anything she ever knew.
carrying this inside her always,
but rarely exploring there,
she thought it was time for a visit.


~terri st. cloud
brought to you by bone sigh arts - www.bonesigharts.com

Check out Stars inside her - Journaling with Bone Sighs

My journaling lately has dropped and rolled down the stairs....I guess I'll have to let Teri help me reconnect...
I hope she speaks to you too!
BE WELL...

Everything...

went well yesterday with the blood washing....it was decided that a new type of chemo will be started today and the second blood washing will be eliminated....So off to the office this morning...hoping that perhaps this new
chemo will keep these counts down for a longer period of time...
BE WELL...

once again...

Over the weekend another tumor appeared by Michaels collar bone...So the Doc was called this morning
and off to the office we went....blood work was done...after an exam...and the results showed that the bad
protein level was off the chart....So he will be getting Plasmaphoresis done both Wednesday and Friday...
(which is a process done by the wonderful people at the Red Cross right in our Doctors office where
they hook you up to this big machine with a tube in both arms...one tube draws blood out and puts it through
the machine which washes the blood and the other tube puts the blood back in....of course that is the short version!) It is the most amazing process, but draining...butit usually brings about good results, although they are very short lived....They talked to us for over an hour today about starting him on a completely different cocktail of chemo...as it has become very apparent that the one he is on is not slowing the growth of this cancer this time around....
So tomorrow we will do what errands we have to do...and then we will lay low while this process takes place.
Michael is in good spirits...although is quite upset that he continues to lose weight weekly...He has gone from
169 pounds to 150 in the last several months....but this goes along with this cancer...he eats...he just doesn't gain weight...and although he thinks he is eating a lot...he really isn't....I just don't tell him that!
We continue on...we laugh...we joke with each other and with the Doc and staff...we appear to be ok....somethimes I wonder what lurks underneath...I put most of it aside....sometimes breaking down here and there...but most of the time just going through everyday the best that I can without thinking to much about it....For now...that seems to work...
BE WELL...
FYI: information

Plasmapheresis

When the level of IgM gets very high, the blood becomes very thick (viscous). This is called hyperviscosity syndrome and can lead to brain damage (like a stroke) and bleeding problems. When that happens, the level of the abnormal IgM protein needs to be lowered right away. Plasmapheresis lowers the viscosity ("thickness") of the blood using a machine that separates the plasma (the liquid part of the blood) that contains the abnormal protein from the blood cells. The blood cells are mixed with salt solution and new plasma and given back to the patient. The plasma containing the abnormal protein is discarded. Each plasmapheresis treatment takes a few hours.
A person having plasmapheresis can lie in bed or sit in a reclining chair. Two IV lines are required -- the blood is removed through one IV, and then is returned to the body through the other IV. Sometimes, a larger catheter is placed in the neck or under the collar bone for the pheresis -- instead of using IV lines in the arms. This type of catheter is called a central line and has both IVs built in. Plasmapheresis is not painful, but it can be hard to stay sitting or lying down in the same place for 2 to 3 hours.
Plasmapheresis works quickly to get the IgM level down to a safe level. However, without further treatment to kill the cancer cells (like chemotherapy) the protein level will go back up again. Plasmapheresis is usually given to help the patient until chemotherapy has a chance to work. Sometimes plasmapheresis is used for those whose Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia is not controlled by chemotherapy, biological therapy, or other treatments. When patients have symptoms from elevated IgM, they need to have plasmapheresis right away to prevent complications.

Getting back...

I had a wonderful weekend...truly pampered...
the boys had a great time at the game...even though the team did not win...the temperature was 80!
My daughter had an art opening on Monday night....and it was fantastic...good showing and sales were made...
(if you live in the Rochester area it is at the OWL HOUSE on Marshall Street...and yes the art work has an owl theme!)
But now...we are back in the swing...Chemo today....blood work and the counts are still out of whack...even more than last week...So blood transfusion tomorrow...along with a Doctor appointment for me...so getting back to normal quickly....
AH....such is life!!  But...feeling fine!
Be Well...

RELAX...


I was reminded yesterday that I have not posted....well, you know what they say..."No news is GOOD news"
The trip to and from Cleveland (4 hours each way) and the game (the Brown's WON for the first time this year)
all went well....Dressed warmly and prepared for any type of weather (ie: rain gear...under armor...hats and gloves) as the Doctor ordered!!  All the cold weather gear was used...luckily not the rain gear!  The trip however took its toll and it took 2 days to recover ....but he is looking forward to this weekend....This time however he will be staying over night for Saturday and Sunday (my brother in law is going) This should take the
sting out of the back and forth....
Not sure what I will do over the weekend....but you can bet it involves a bottle of my new favorite wine....
Appropriately called......RELAX!

Come Saturday Morning...

The 2.5 hours for the blood transfusion went well....and Michael actually has a little color to his cheeks...
and he actually ate most of his dinner....Seeing as at this point he has now lost 12 pounds, that is a good thing! (even though he is getting steroids!) So with all the gear getting packed it is off to the football game in Cleveland tomorrow (about 4 hours or so away)...He is so excited...win or lose (and they lose a lot!) doesn't matter...its just that he gets to go and sit in the stands!  This stadium is right on the Lake Erie so he has to dress really warmly...but he is so looking forward to it....As for me...well, I think I'll take the day to get some of the things I have been putting off done...
BE WELL...

Thursday morning...

Got a phone call yesterday and Michael's red blood cell count is much to low....Off to have blood
work done this morning....going to type cross his blood type...transfusion tomorrow AM....
hopefully this will give him more energy and concentration....Fingers crossed!   Football games
to attend in the next 2 Sundays!!!!!!!!!
BE WELL

half full...or ...half empty?


I have been thinking about this a great deal over the past several days.....Is the glass half full....or is it half empty....I don't know why but during stressful
times I tend to think of the glass being half empty...maybe because things are slipping away...maybe because 
things are changing it gives me the feeling of taking away from....thus....half empty.  But really what a negative way of thinking....there is so much more of that glass to go...and you could actually try to fill it back up rather than taking more away from it....You could embrace the change and look at it as an opportunity to add to your life...to show you things with different eyes...to react in a different way....
SO....Is the glass half full....or is it half empty???????????
Today, I start to look at it from a different perspective....and I am finding it is definitely....
HALF FULL!!!!!!!!!!!

What to do with Lemons....

The following is a mandala that I did in October of 2009 in my journal....but it still holds true and it came to my thoughts today....I share it with you here....and remind myself...

Today this mandala came to me...as I drew and painted, it reminded me of lemons...It also reminded me of two different quotes..."when life hands you lemons....make lemonaid" (Unknown) and "People are just about a happy as they make up their minds to be."(Abraham Lincoln) Lately I have been handed a fair amount of lemons... And as far as happiness...well...I know that resides within me...I am the one who is responsible for that...I don't want to put that responsibility in the hands of anyone but me!! Only I can put my happiness first. There are times when we are affected by what is going on in someone else's life that makes us put our happiness aside...but we are of little use to our self or anyone else when we do not find things to be happy about...we have to allow our happiness for something to ripple out around us. Happiness even during times when you are handed lemons is not always the easiest thing to find ...but it is really the most necessary thing to acknowledge...a bird singing...a squirrel gathering a nut...the sun shining...old memories...new memories...the goodness of our life...things that cause great laughter. Consider what your life is like when you feel happy....and what it is like when you are not...which do you prefer? I am willing to go and make a Margarita (just seems like it might hit the spot!!) out of my lemons today and look for rays of happiness everywhere I can find them....Care to join me?
Artfully Yours,
Pattie

PS: Do you want a glass of Lemon aide or a Margarita today with your side order of happiness?!

Softly...

I am consiously being soft lately...soft spoken...walking softly...aware of not being harsh...not being negative...
not being rough in any way...I am consious of being soft...Michael had an EKG this morning...(to see about the pleurisy) tomorrow is blood work (to try to get his coumadin regulated) and Wednesday we have a day off...
Thursday is the meeting with the specialists....So I am consious to be soft...to not let anything enter my mind...to just enjoy the day...to laugh more...to smile more...to love more...That is what my plans for the week are....
May yours be the same...
BE WELL

BE HAPPY!

A random act of kindness and love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How could this not make you HAPPY!
THANK YOU MARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Both...

of us feeling better today...sleep will do that....I went to sleep fairly early for me...and the pain meds
allowed Michael to sleep...so he is feeling a bit rested today....
So BOTH of us are feeling better....They did take out one of the ingredients in his chemo cocktail...the
next 24 hours will tell us if that was what caused the problem....(process of elimination!) Monday we
go for an echo cardiogram....(to make sure everything is OK) and Tuesday is blood work day...Wednesday
there will be no chemo because Thursday is the specialist....
All we have to do till Monday is go pick up meds tomorrow....and RELAX!!!!!!!!
AH....CALGON take me away....(that is if your not to young to remember that!!)

All over the board....

I am home...waiting for Michael to finish his round of chemo...doing laundry...picking up...disinfecting...the usual fare that goes on here....But my emotions are all over the board....this past week has been really emotional...as Michael has been in a great deal of pain and insisted that I NOT call the Doctor even after I insisted to many times to count....After getting to the office today, and seeing several of the Docs...it was agreed on that he was experiencing pleurisy caused most likely by the chemo and the speed of the drip that they gave him (which was faster than usual) ...(I'll give you a short explanation at the end of this post of what pleurisy is)...and that by ALL MEANS they should of been called so that they could see him...give him pain meds...He explained that he did not call as it was the weekend and he did not want to go to the emergency room...I gently explained that he would not let me call...against my better judgement I honored his wishes...
But here is where my feelings went all over the board...EVERYONE (friends included) believe I did the WRONG THING...that I should of by passed his wishes and called anyhow...Making me feel inadequate as a caregiver...a wife...But what no one seems to understand is that if I did call (on a weekend when the office is closed) and they told me to get him to the emergency room...he would not go! And how do I get a grown man into the car by force????  How does one do that????  He is certainly at risk for infections...blood clots..
embolisms...and more because of the high dose of chemo....I KNOW THAT...HE KNOWS THAT....But exactly what was I suppose to do????????????????????  So right now my emotions are all over the board...
I am sad...I am disappointed...I am angry...and all I can do is cry....but I am not even sure why I am doing that.....

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura. The pleura is a large, thin membrane that wraps around the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of the chest cavity. Between the layer of the pleura that wraps around the lungs and the layer that lines the chest cavity is a very thin space. This is called the pleural space. The pleural space is normally filled with a small amount of fluid. The fluid helps the two layers of the pleura glide smoothly past each other as the lungs breathe air in and out.
Pleurisy occurs when the two layers of the pleura become inflamed. Inflammation is a protective and healing process characterized by swelling, redness, heat, and pain. The inflamed pleural layers rub against each other every time the lungs expand to breathe in air. This can cause sharp pain with breathing.

Tough...

That would be the word I would use for this past week....Tough...Tough to watch...Tough to be a part of...Tough to witness...But, far less tough on me than on Michael....This past week the chemo has left him
virtually unable to do anything...unable to walk very well without being in extreme pain in his chest...unable to sleep...unable to eat...unable to find a comfortable spot...Michael rarely if ever complains...trying to make everyone else comfortable with humor...but this week there has been very little humor...I have seen him in severe pain...I have seen him cry...I have seen him swear (which he never does!) and I am left with not being able to do anything to take that pain away....Being a woman...a caregiver...a wife...I am accustomed to taking care of people...making sure that their needs are met...and this week I have not been able to do that...I can  give him a hug when his tears come...I  can assure him that people understand when he does not partake in events...I can kiss him on the head as I walk by his chair...I can cover him with a blanket when sleep finally does come...After writing this I see that I CAN be helpful with this CAN-cer....I CAN do things to make his soul comfortable...Perhaps I cannot take the pain away...but I CAN bring a peacefulness my putting my hand on his heart and connecting with him...
It has been a tough week....

I wish you enough...

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.


They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.
  

TAKE TIME TO LIVE....

I WISH YOU ENOUGH.

Be Well...

Oh, the places you'll go!

 Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

The little love getting on the school bus for the very first time....SO EXCITING!  The first day of school...
He will be attending a charter school and we are very blessed that he got into this school....Kindergarten is
a full day, so this will be all new to him....My...but they grow fast!
Cherish those you love!
Be Well...
 

Labor Day...

The last few days fall has been in the air...the wind has been cooler and the leaves are changing color...night
comes earlier and the sun rises later...shortening the days of summer...
I tend to like fall ...maybe because my birthday falls this time of year...but as I age I realize it becomes a time with the changing of seasons to allow myself to change...certainly change comes with warmer clothing, but lately I have been aware that change is also coming with my thoughts...my attitude...I have been very aware since we saw the specialist last week that I am slowing down...I am taking on more of Michael's attitude...I AM IN NO RUSH!!!!!!!!!  Perhaps it is because I feel that the most difficult time is still before us...but today, I do not care...Today, I am resting...I am taking time just to enjoy this day...to spend time with those I love and give no thought to tomorrow...or the next day...as they do not matter at the moment...Today, I am allowing that change to take over...I am allowing myself time to witness this perfect moment...to this perfect day.
Happy Labor Day....Happy Fall....
Be Well...
 

And then there were more...

We arrived at the Wilmont Cancer Center at 7:30 AM yesterday morning....filling out page after page after page
of information...did all the vital stats...and then 2 specialists arrived....going over everything that was on the page after page after page....and then....they informed us, after several hours of talking....and asking questions...that a consent form would have to be filled out for them to be able to get all the test results he has had over the past 2 years....all the pathology reports...everything having to do with this cancer....and then...a team of Doctors from the Wilmont Center will have a sit down "round table" discussion about the best way to proceed...
So we don't know anymore than we did the day before....We will continue with the chemo treatment that is currently being given...and will get the information from all the Wilmont Doctors on the 23rd of September...
So there it is....we remain where we are...getting through the next 3 weeks hopefully without any incidents...
 
Seven Ways to Have a Good Day

 1. Talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
 2. Look at the sunny side of everything.
 3. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best.
 4. Be as enthusiastic about success of others as you are about your own.
 5. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
 6. Give everyone a smile.
 7. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. (Christian D Larsen)

Once again....THANK YOU!

Every evening I receive an E-mail from the Brave Girls Club...(you can sign up for it by clicking the link here)
Last night the mail really struck a cord with me...especially because I have been silent here this week...So I am going to share part of it with you here...

"One kind person can make such a difference. One compassionate hand placed on a hand in distress can make such a difference. One phone call, one thank-you note, one sweet text message can make every bit of a difference. One job well done, one child rocked to sleep, one lunch packed, one single daisy given away can make such a difference.
One smile in the grocery store, one proclamation of forgiveness, one loaf of freshly baked bread, one handmade card, one offer to help can make such a huge difference.
It's the little things, gorgeous friend, that make the heroes. It's the one thing, after one thing, after one thing. It's that one person who makes the difference.
Be the one."

Thank you to all who have written here, and written me off line...who have sent the handmade cards, and books, who offer their hearts...for all the beautiful messages that touch my heart. The smile and the outstretched hand...
IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Be Well...

Ice Cream Sundae for dinner!

Sometimes you just have to let go of the "normal" things in life...Sometimes you just have to break free of the
routine that you put yourself into...Sometimes you just need to let your inner child come out to play...Sometimes
you just have to go with the flow...Sometimes you just need to find the humor in the smallest of things...Sometimes you just need to smile at someone for no reason at all....Sometimes you just have to say "sorry"...Sometimes you just have to hold someones hand a little tighter...Sometimes you just have to let go of those things that are not important...AND....
Sometimes you just have to have an ice cream sundae for dinner!

If it's Wednesday...

It must be Chemo day!  Michael has been losing weight again...a pound here and there, but slowly and steadily every week...I stayed with him while we talked to the Doc's (well they talked and we listened) The biopsy has been set up for tomorrow...his chart has been sent to the specialist...The appointment for the specialist will be September 2nd (a week after the biospsy)...
I went to my Doctor today....had a good long chat with him and I am feeling better...he lets me release some of the anguish that I feel...some of the anger that I feel...most of the fear that I feel...and all of my sadness...It is good to talk with someone who really does not have ties to me accept for on a professional level...if I am acting like a jerk...he actually tells me to rethink that situation and how could I have handled it differently...I am not always righteous!!  He has given me a few new tools to work with and I am feeling much better week by week...
So we are techniqually off now for a week from Chemo...a resting before we see the specialist and see what he has to say....We have a few appointments...Dentist for Michael and then the specialist...hopefully he will feel well enough to go to the movies...or out to dinner with friends/family this weekend...Have a few laughs and enjoy some time away from home and Doctors...
Be Well...

Busy week...

It starts today with a trip to the VA to pick up the Lovenox....That is the drug that I have to inject into Michael's stomach (twice a day) to bridge him till he can get back on the Coumadin ( the drug he takes because of the embolisms) It doesn't bother me to give them anymore, I've become a pro at them!....and it hopefully will only be for a week... Tuesday we hope to do something FUN...not sure what it will be...but a couple hours is all he can tolerate...Wednesday is the 5 hour chemo...Thursday is the biopsy at 9:00 AM...and that leads into Friday when we see the little love if Michael is feeling well enough...(or I will have to figure something out for that) ...  A busy week...an emotional week...but I think we are as prepared as we can be...
I bought some new art supplies yesterday...going to keep myself busy as we wait the week for the results of the biopsy and the trip to the specialist....Busy hands are happy hands!
Be Well.

Life...

Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for. You have to make a start, and then the law of attraction will receive those grateful thoughts and give you more just like them. (Rhonda Byrne, producer of "The Secret")

For many years I kept a gratitude journal...later instead of journaling I used a set of gratitude beads that I carry with me...rubbing my finger over the five beads I would give thought to what I was grateful for that day....
With all the commotion going on with the urgency of all the tests for Michael...I am reminded today to be grateful....as I pull out my beads and slowly place my hand on the first bead....
Today, I am grateful for LOVE ...having it...knowing it...and giving it.
Today, I am grateful for COMFORT...the pillow top mattress...the morning cup of coffee...words from friends.
Today, I am grateful for WARMTH...the feel of another's hand placed in mine.
Today, I am grateful for NATURE...the song of a bird...the sun shining.
Today, I am grateful for  LAUGHTER...and the difference that it makes.

Take a moment today....what are 5 things you are grateful for? 

PS: The VA "RUSHED" all the paperwork through...biopsy is next week and specialist will be the following week when the results are in....everything is happening very quickly.
Be Well...

 

Long afternoon...

Chemo was yesterday....and after talking with the Doctor before the treatment...Michael agreed to TALK to the specialist...NO TEST...NO PROBING...ONLY TALKING....At this point she needs direction from a Doctor who specializes in this rare cancer that he has...to see if there is any other line of therapy that he could do besides the bone marrow transplant....As he is not really responding to the chemo to this point....They had hoped he would stay "resting"... but he is not...They suspect at this point that the tumors may not be a result of the lymphoma...(not sure how they came to this unless it had something to do with the blood work that was done..I do see that his bad protein level is HIGHER )...but he will be going to have everything biopsied....But as we know that ONLY happens when the VA gives the approval for it to happen....Could be next week...could be next month...Michael says he is in no hurry to do or know anything...
Michael is still in good spirits...and only wishes to ENJOY his life to the HIGHEST quality for as LONG as he has....AMEN!
So we have time with the little love today...I am taking him for a couple hours to visit friends so that Michael can get a nap in....but we are laughing this morning...the sun is shinning....and life is good....
Be Well...

feeling better...

It has been a rough weekend for Michael....He is the first to admit that this round of chemo has knocked the s@#* out of him!  His appetite has not been good....although he feels nauseous he is not getting sick (which is good) ...he has been experiencing numbness in his face...hands...feet...and tired...tired...tired....He even took a nap when the little love was with us on Friday! (so you know he was tired!) And just as he is starting to feel better we will start this process all over again on Wednesday!
I am hoping the Doctor talks to him in a truly honest way then about the bone marrow transplant and at least talking to the specialist...why she wants him to do that...what the outcome would be if he continues to choose not to do that....Some of that burden of trying to get him to go to the specialist has somehow fallen on my shoulders...but I am not taking it on....I refuse to try to make decisions for a grown man...all of this journey I have finally given to him....I step back...I allow him his own voice as I stand in support...love and caring....that is the only thing that I can do....

Treatment started...

Today we found out that the tumors in Michael's lymph nodes are many...both in his neck and under his collar bone...So they started an agressive chemo treatment TODAY...He will have it once a week for 5 hours for 3 weeks have a week off....then start it again for 3 weeks...have a week off...and then another round for 3 weeks. The hope is that it will stunt the growth of the tumors...These tumors were very small in Feb. of this year when he finished his chemo treatment...which means...that the chemo treatment did not work....it did not keep the cancer from spreading. They are hoping that this stronger treatment will do that.  They want him to do the bone marrow transplant...but he is still not willing to do that...and that is his decision so I must stand by it. After his treatment he came home and immediately bought tickets to football games...booked rooms...and made plans...This cancer at this point is not painful...he feels pretty good actually and has a fair amount of strength....So he figures as long as that is the case and because there is no cure for this cancer he is going to do as much as he can for as long as he can...he is going to spend his time doing what he loves to do with the people he loves around him...He is going to LIVE HIS LIFE!  We will all help him to do that with encouragement...faith...hope...and LOVE.

What do you do when waiting?

My friend, Pat, who also knows a lot about waiting wrote:
Turn waiting upside down...I use the time as a gift that was not expected. It's this space where nothing else was planned but the thing that was planned and it hasn't arrived,
I have been doing as much as I can to follow this advice....So I made  homemade spaghetti sauce..I made a cheese cake...I ran some errands and looked at new carpeting...I got the car inspected...oil change...and tires rotated several weeks early...I took a well deserved nap...and read a magazine...
What do you do when waiting?
 

Lost some sleep...

Waiting is a thing I don't do very well...Any kind of waiting...waiting on a ride from someone..waiting in line at the grocery store...waiting for answers is very high on the list of things I do not do well....The Oncologist office called today, and we have an appointment to hear what the results of the CT scans were and what the technicians findings were...and what the game plan will be on WEDNESDAY MORNING!!!!!  So more waiting.... 

don't lose sleep...

When I talked to one of the Oncologist yesterday...that is what he told me..."don't lose sleep"  this weekend...all the results and the game plan should be in place by Monday....Seems that the x-rays are at the office but not the technicians findings....So what we know is:....2 tumors in the neck area...and several under the right collar bone area...but NONE anywhere else...stomach...pelvic areas look good!  So with that information...we are going about our weekend as planned....The son is coming over this afternoon to cook out before he heads off for a 5 day jaunt in Vegas!  We attended the "grip tape"opening last night...and found lots of wonderful art for skateboards...I even purchased a piece to hang in my studio....Mine had not sold yet...but it was early and the show is up for a month....my daughter's 2 pieces sold...and so did my son's piece....VERY PROUD!  And off to a art festival over in the trendy area of the city tomorrow....So we continue on...continuing on!!
BE WELL....

Bonds...

I am not sure how many of you know that I try do affirmations every day...but today, was an eye opener for me.
I listened to my heart to show me what it was that I needed to focus on today....I honor it and YOU who come here by posting it for you here.
helping...
sharing...
opening...
to the
bonds...
with others
for
trust...
strength...
wisdom.

Today, I am aware of bonds...the bonds that protect me...the bonds brought to me by those I trust and care about.
Today, I am aware of bonds...the bonds that I have created by opening myself up...by being vulnerable enough to share my heart..the bonds I have with those who truely walk with me...help me...share with me...bringing trust...strength...wisdom my way.
Today, I am aware of bonds...the bonds that are holding me with love..
Today, I am aware of bonds...how by sharing myself...my fears...my pain...my joys...my love...my life with those I feel bonded with I feel a wholeness.

As I reflect on this week I am aware that I am melding the dark and light sides of my life a little more successfully. By being gentler and softer with myself...my thoughts...my words...I am slowly rounding the sharp edges. I am aware that by spilling open I continue to grow and by the sharing of myself I am feeling protected and loved during a difficult time.  As I reflect on this week I am aware that I do not have to face anything alone as long as I stay open...look at things with a softer eye...and allow others to embrace me with their love.
Artfully Yours,
Pattie

Up date

blood work...CT scan of neck...chest...abdomen...pelvic....
looking to see if there are other tumors....
waiting for the results...and then the game plan...

THANK YOU...

To all those who have contacted me off line...remembering that today we go to see about the lump on Michael's neck...and to all those who hold us in their hearts as we see what is happening with this....I send my heart felt THANK YOU....and I carry your good wishes with me...
From my heart to yours...
BE WELL!

and the beat goes on...

I am trying not to let any moss grow under my feet!! LOL...making lists of things that I would like to have done...that should be done...things that have been put on lists before...but this time I REALLY mean it!! (LOL) I have a lovely living room that has a very "cave" like appearance ...taupe on the top half...a chair rail and then a deep burgundy on the bottom...with Michael's failing eye sight...we have to lighten this up...especially BEFORE the gray winter weather..(as much as I hate to think about that approaching us!) I have to hire someone to do this however...it is just to big of a job for little me!! I am relying on a friend to give me a name of someone who is really good...as much as I hate to see this happen...perhaps change is a good thing! I am finding more and more lately that "change" happens...it happens without you knowing it...it happens with a purpose...it happens because it needs to...and you can look at it from a negative side or a positive side....I am CHOOSING to look at it from a positive side...because we make our own happiness after all...and that is something I am very aware of lately also...
Be Well...

Home again...Home again...Jiggity Jig!

Arrived safely home after an exciting several days in Cleveland, Ohio! So many plans
were made for this trip...we went on with my sister and her hubby....arriving in Cleveland we set out on foot for an adventure down to the "trendy" area for cocktails...arriving just in time for happy hour! We sat and had a couple of drinks and when going to leave my sister stepped on her sandal the wrong way and POP....
her ankle goes out and she is 4 hours in the Emergency ward....VERY BAD SPRAIN!! Great deal of pain...black and blue...blow up cast...crutches!! ON THE FIRST DAY! But none the less....she carried on...getting a wheel chair for the ROCK and ROLL Hall of Fame the next day....limping along going to dinner later at the Winking Lizard...Taking in a baseball game (which she or her husband had never been to a major league game before) Having the famed hot dog and peanuts! Despite the set back of her ankle we had a wonderful time....and have decided that a few more adventures are in the future! It is nice to be with others that you get along with...you can laugh with...enjoy your time with...We just aren't going to let her have martini's anymore! LOL
We arrived home and had the little love with us on Friday....who missed his Papa so much that he would not leave his side from the moment we were together....which gave me the opportunity to make an appointment with the Doctor for him on Wednesday!! OH...HE FORGOT about that! That tumor has now gone down the side of his chin area and under his chin...
But we continue to smile...we continue to laugh...we continue to plan...
LIFE IS GOOD...
BE WELL.

Going On Vacation...

We are heading out to vacation...and we plan for a lot of fun!! So excited to go!

A message from Terri

My friend Terri sends out these wonderful messages every day....
This one spoke to me....
Join her mailing list HERE


“ alone and shaking,
she wondered how she'd get thru.
the doubts surrounding her, keeping
her awake.
and then she remembered.
it's all a ride, a journey, a dream.
the twists and turns of which she
couldn't even fathom.
she closed her eyes and rested.
she'd travel where she must.
never knowing where she was going...
but knowing it was a ride worth taking. ”

~terri st. cloud

coping...

I am learning a new way of coping with things....
I am looking at the situation...and then asking myself if it belongs to me...
If it is not mine than I mentally hand it over to the person it belongs to....
I cannot make people do what I would do....I cannot impose my views on them
just as they cannot make me do what they want...
It really is quite simple when written down...
A little harder to put into action....but I am doing my best!
Be Well...

Lump...

Michael has a lump the size of a golf ball in the lymph glands just under the right side of his chin...
The Doctor wants the Oncologist to look at it ASAP....and guess what? He is refusing to go....
I am at odds with this....He wants to wait till August when we are scheduled to go to the Oncologist...as he does not want to know anything before he goes on vacation....
This whole process of him not wanting to go to the Doctor started in February 08....He finally went in September of 08' and by that time he was terribly sick...
When he was first diagnosed with lymphoma in 1985 he had these lumps then...but they were on the side of his neck....
How do you make a grown man do something that you believe he should do if he doesn't want to do it? I am somehow feeling "less than" at the moment because I....his wife....can't get him to go...many think I should just make the appointment....but how do I get him in the car....and from the car to the office? Do I drag him kicking and screaming like a 5 year old?
It's frustrating...and infuriating all at the same time....

Published!

This is the publication that I wrote an article for about my process on how I journal....
I have been keeping art journals since 2004...There are 6 pages in this magazine dedicated
to my art journals....in fact it is the very first article in the magazine....I am very honored...
I am very proud...I am extremely excited to share my journey with others on how I go about
keeping my journal...
I am so happy today that I just wanted to share!
BE WELL

Cramming....

There are 31 days this month....We are currently at the 7th day....and I am wondering....

JUST HOW MANY THINGS CAN WE CRAM INTO THIS MONTH!! (LOL)

We had a fabulous time in Baltimore with our friends....and the little one made the trip (7.5 hours because of all the stops we made!) wonderfully....
I started my Ti Chi classes and I really think I will like these....taking them for an hour 4 times a week...
There is a local festival coming up that a friend of my daughters' is in and I will be helping her out...plus a night time street party that we attend annually...there is a function I take my mother to every year down at the lake....there is a concert and dinner out....there is a trip to Cleveland for 4 days that features a baseball game and a day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Several dinners out with friends are planned this month.....

WHY?????

Because next month we start chemo again and that will take up all 31 days....
So we plan to enjoy all we can....while we can!
Hope you do too!
Be well...

quote...

I ran across this quote today that stuck a huge cord with where I am at this moment in time!

"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
...Eden Phillpotts

I am feeling much better....finally coming out onto the other side of life once again...and I must
say that I am feeling more like myself than I have in years...Taking care of things as they come
along without thinking about it...JUST DOING! In these past 2 1/2 years I realize that I have put aside the things that make me the most happy....I have given way to things that have made me feel badly about myself...I have knocked myself down many times without giving thought to
why I was doing so...
But I am feeling better...realizing that there is a reason for everything...perhaps a wake up call that life is passing me by without me really knowing it...that I have put energy into things that I should not be putting it into and neglecting to put that energy into the most important things...
So the universe has been patiently waiting for my wits to grow sharper!
And I step out today and see a sky that is full of light shining brightly...flowers in bloom...birds singing!
Zippity-Do-Da!
We are off once again to visit friends in Baltimore...this time taking the little love (our grandson)
with us to meet and greet this family that has been so important in my life! I am looking forward more than ever to spend time with them!
Happy upcoming 4th of July!

sent to me....

My wonderful soul mate friend Royce sent this my way....
It did me good...so I am passing it on...
We bow, in humble admiration,
For the Wonder of what is happening on this planet.
Every day, we are immersed in so much darkness.
It is Inspiration, at its finest, to witness and bask in the Light
Of Human Creativity and Imagination.

Come.
Stand by me.
I won't be afraid.
I won't be afraid.
Not as long.
Not as long.
As you
Stand by me.
Royce

click here for YOU TUBE!

IN my IN box...

This video came to me this morning via Dawn, at The Daily Spark...
It made me smile....and as she said...that is the point!
Enjoy!
http://www.wimp.com/babymoose

Be Well...

Do I admit this????

Do I actually admit this?....really expose myself?...I think it might be part of the healing...
I have been in a very downward spiral for quite some time....pushing it deeper and deeper
down to not expose it....not to others...not to myself....there have been glimpses of it here
and there...but like any other vessel you fill up sooner or later it will over flow....and several
weeks ago that is what happened...I over flowed...the damn burst....
All sorts of emotions came flooding out...the one that repeated itself over and over was that I
was not sick so how could I be so upset with everyone and everything....I guess one would have
to call that guilt....a guilt of being selfish or at least feeling selfish....
I finally had to break down and go to the Doctors...(I hate going to the Doctor's...to many years
of being poked and prodded I guess, so I avoid it at all costs) And my Doctor's from the past
have either passed away or moved away....So it would mean going to a new Doctor and exposing myself....BUT I sucked it up because I had to ....and I connected with a new Doctor (a woman) who not only LISTENED to me...but HEARD me...and she will now be my primary Doctor...but she sent me to someone else....OH NO! More exposing....but you know....I found it easier...I found it necessary to empty the garbage pail and clean it out....
Sometimes the more uncomfortable something is...the more I learn about myself....and in this case I will say I am starting to feel better.....I am letting go of the guilt that I have carried around for some time now....I am starting to take care of myself ....I mean REALLY do that...not just a case of here and there...but every day a little something just for me without the guilt....I know this is not going to happen over night....after all this has taken a life time of building up....but I need to learn a new way....
So did I admit this here? YES I DID.....
Am I admitting it to myself? YES I AM...
And I am OK with it....LOL....
SMALL STEPS!
Be well...

wonderful thoughts...

This is part of an E mail I received this morning....
OH WHAT WONDERFUL THOUGHTS!!!!!!!!!!

Remember to always:
> *be grateful
> *act with kindness
> *have patience
> *practice integrity
> *give generously
> *behave honorably
> *live fully
> *exercise your talents
> *share your knowledge
> *act courteously
> *show tolerance
> *treat others with respect
> *believe in yourself
> *always do your best
> *expect miracles
> *and be thankful for your blessings"

Be well....and pass it along!

silence...

Please once again accept my sincere apology for being silent...but I have been out of sorts...trying to make some sense of things ...trying to bring a little reality to my life...working in the garden...playing with the little love...
I think that the last 2 years have finally caught up to me...I am feeling a little drained...and I am trying to re-energize myself....the sun is helping...digging in the earth is helping....and going to see the Doctor is helping...
All in all things are going along....and we are trying to do things that we have listed at least several times a week....but at the moment....I am taking a down time to regroup....
Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do! LOL
Be Well...

Spring Cleaning....

Do you ever feel the need to do some spring cleaning???? Not just in your house but in your life...in your soul??? I have been feeling that need a great deal lately....cleaning....cleaning up...cleaning out...Sometimes I clutter myself with so much stuff that I feel like a hoarder (LOL) Maybe I should go on one of those reality shows! (it's really not that bad!) Lately I have been noticing a difference in my attitude....and I think I need an adjustment! Things that once seemed smooth now seem to have very rough areas...things that once seemed so important now lack in there importance....TIME TO CLEAN....clear out the cobwebs....clean up the messes....begin to feel fresh and shiny and new!!
I am aware that I judge things lately...a right or wrong...good or bad...so I have decided to clean...to get on with that act of living my life...attending to it....flourishing with it....taking it bit by bit....not worrying so much if I make a mistake (easier said then done!!) make room to grow....
Today, I start spring cleaning! Both of my home and my soul.....I am stepping into it.....I am trying to get past the barriers of my own making...I will stop trying to plot my escape from this...stop finding one bad excuse after another that keeps me in a holding pattern....
I am stepping into it....soap and water in hand....good thoughts surrounding me....I will pay attention to the details....and bring it to find myself at home with myself....

Another day down...


Off for blood work and Oncologist office.....what a surprise after not being there for a couple months to find that Michael's Doctor is having a baby! So excited for her....she has a little one who is 4 and now will have another in September....We will be able to get in the chemo round before she is off for medical leave....
So speaking of chemo....It will now be held off for a couple months....the last round of chemo is still doing it job of keeping the cancer from growing....it's still there...still the same as it was in 2008 and hasn't grown at least by all accounts in his blood ....some of his counts are high and some are low...but most are remaining the same....She once again suggested we go on vacation while he is still in this resting stage (we all know that the chemo will eventually stop and then the cancer will take over) So I guess we are going to start planning something....we do have several mini trips planned...one with my sister and brother in law ...
So another day down....and feeling pretty good....I have been in the studio working on projects for days now and loving that....most of them are things I am doing that are collaborative projects with others from the net....I just did a page in a book for A PLACE TO BARK fund raiser....This is a place in Tennessee that rescues abused animals...Bernie Berlin is the woman who does this and what a job she does...Once the pages are all collected by Renee Troy the book will be put up for auction....I can hardly wait to see the work and book all together....what a wonderful honor this was to join in with all these talented artist....It feels really good doing things for others...
Be well...Life is good!

Happy Mother's Day...

Happy Mother's Day....to all the wonderful woman who visit here....who nurture and love...
This E-card came from the site of Shiloh Sophia McCloud (click card to enlarge)
Be Well...

Even Doctors get sick....

We changed all our plans for Baltimore...when we were leaving and when we were returning...because we had an Oncology blood draw and visit....We got up early after our
6 hour drive home yesterday....and went for the blood draw (the results of some of the testing
takes a couple hours) but we were prepared for the wait and seeing the Oncologist....Only to
find out she was not in today because she was sick!! We could of seen another Doctor, but we
choose to come back next week to see her....She has been the primary Oncologist in this office
that has taken care of Michael for the past several years....So we felt she was the one to see because she has a hands on with us....although all the Doctors know what is going on with the patients...I know you all have experienced this with your own Doctors and the little bit of uncomfortable feeling that comes along with it....SO it is a day off after all.....the saving grace is that next week we won't have to wait for the blood result tests.....

Baltimore...Baseball...

What a wonderful time we had in Baltimore....We went to a baseball game while we were there!
Perfect weather...perfect company....laughter...relaxing...just what the Doctor ordered!

leaving for Baltimore....

In the morning....our plans changed when I flipped the calendar over to May to add some appointments that we have....We planned on being in Washington, DC to see the Viet Nam memorial on Monday....and low what did my eyes see....an Oncologist appointment for Monday at 10 AM...seeing as we are starting chemo up again soon....these are blood tests that take a while to get back and they need those results before starting chemo...and just maybe she will have the MRI results...
So off we go to visit some very dear friends for a few days....we will miss our day with the little love
so we visited with him for a few hours today....
Be Well...

Wicked...

Have you seen this play???? Last night Michael and I had the opportunity to go to it...a gift we gave to ourselves for our anniversary (yes...we continue to celebrate it!!) It was the BEST play I have seen in quite some time....everything from the costumes...the stage...the actors...(remember Larry from 3's Company??? He played the Wizard) It was the best 3 hours!! The voices were amazing....But the song....Defying Gravity.....MY FAVORITE!!
If you get the chance to see it....Do so if you can....You'll laugh....You'll be in awe....It is a treat!
Can you tell I loved it????? LOL

Reflecting...

Friends of ours lost their son to a tragic accident recently...He was only 27 years old....
It has caused me to reflect on the relationship that I have with my grown children...and how I can make it better...more meaningful...How as a mother I can do a little more even though they are fully grown....I can call them more often...I can see them more often (both personally and socially)
I can partake in their grown lives more....
I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child....no matter what the age of that child is...perhaps as I journey on this path I have grown numb...and a little accustomed to the signs of death...but this is different....this was unforeseen...
Today....I will connect a little more....Give a bigger hug...and say I love you more than once!
Hope you do the same!
Be Well...

Just the right words....

This is a picture (showing off his long hair and acting silly) of my son J....He is a warm and caring son who has been a joy in my life....but he is a man of few words....rarely tells you to much in the personal department....but always there when the chips are down or to make you laugh...give you the best bear hugs and share his love....but he sent this letter to Michael....I will share part of it with you.....
"since I met you, you knew what was going on....So did I....We immediately meshed....You taught me all I could be...baseball was easy, I loved it...Thanks coach....If not for you I wouldn't have played so long....I look up to you and thank you for raising me as your SON...I love you....I hope I am the person you thought I could be..."
He touched us deep with these words....
We love you too J.....
You are MORE than we could of possibly imagined!

Earth Day


Happy Earth Day...
Plant a tree.....Plant a flower....Replenish!!
Today the littlest of loves and I are going to plant strawberries in a container for him....and for me....I am planting my herbs! ...OH and for those of you who are in the know....HAPPY DRAFT DAY!! (it is the day that the football teams begin their draft for players....it's a BIG deal for someone in this house....and that would not be ME!....LOL)
Be Well...

Nobody does it better....

When I get overwhelmed....I close up...close off...and go inward....Nobody does it better than me!
I try to keep myself busy...with all sorts of things....anything really even housework! As long as it occupies my mind so that I don't have to think....don't have to make decisions...JUST DON'T HAVE TO! Waiting for test results is the pits....way to much time to think....So I've been working in the garden....pulling weeds....playing with the littlest of loves, my grandson....and painting....I did 3 pieces for a gallery show (haven't done a gallery show since 08) and I am working on 3 pieces for a Mexican Restaurant (and if I have told you all this....well just chalk it up to being mind challenged!)

We have decided to go visit friends in Baltimore....we keep putting it off...but we can't figure out why we are doing that....sitting here waiting for the results isn't getting on with life....So we are going next week after some other Doctor appointments that are scheduled...

So life goes on....some people gather....some people nest...some people move....some people stay put....no matter what you are doing you just have to KEEP ON!
Be Well.....

MRI

Today we will be traveling to Buffalo (which is a little over an hour away from us) to go to the VA hospital there to have the MRI done....Not sure how long the wait will be for the results....as we do not have an appointment yet with the Neurologist...We are hoping that this will give us some insight as to what the problem is with his memory loss and his weakness in his legs....along with a few other things....We are prepared for whatever the outcome may be....well, as good as anyone can be prepared......We hope for the best as we travel this path!
In the meantime....LIFE goes on!! Our anniversary was spectacular! Not giving away any kiss and tells.....lets just say the honeymoon hasn't ended... even after 25 years!! LOL
Be Well....

Rapidly approaching....

We are rapidly approaching our 25th Wedding Anniversary!!! It is a week from today!! (April 13) Who would of thought that we would of made it this far considering that we both were divorced when we married....And considering that there was a package deal .... I had two children....but through it all we made it!! Even with everything that goes on now....we are making it!
So what does one do for their 25th anniversary?????? Something different....something unique...
something special besides the going out for the fancy dinner thing.....IDEAS anyone?????
We are thinking about renewing our vows....reconfirming....re-exchanging...recommitting...
We are somewhat limited at the moment as to going anywhere....the original plan was to go to New York City (as we did for our Honeymoon....and do you know why they call it a Honey moon????!..
Newlyweds, for the first month of married life, drank a daily cup of honeyed wine
called mead. Sounds like a deal!!)
anyhow we have the MRI on the 15th, so that does not leave much time to go anywhere...
perhaps a renewal at city hall....a fine dinner out and a fancy hotel right here in town!

and then there was the THANK YOU....

Have you ever gone about your day....doing the mundane that you do every day....doing the laundry...doing the dishes...doing the cooking....driving people here and there....and then someone stops you....gives you a big hug...and says THANK YOU....
AH........IT'S A BEAUTIFUL THING!
Take a moment today to thank someone for the things they do for you!
Be Well....

Attitude...

Thanks for the kind words about my attitude Mary....but I will readily admit that it is not always the best every single day!! LOL....but then whose is?!? I am finding as the time progresses with this illness that one must LOOK ....even DIG on some days...for the best! Small things....come the easiest for me...a bird singing...the sun shining...a good piece of chocolate...and other days it is bigger things....the laughter of a child...the ability to do my art...the connection with good and honest people...and then it could be...laughing as a child sings a song over the phone to you...seeing a dream come true....dreaming a bigger dream...
I guess what I am saying is that I have come to realize that some things are important....some things are not....somethings are completely out of my control so why fret to much about them...some things just unfold and you have to roll with it...
Is it easy????? NO!! Some days it is the most difficult thing that I do....but I am learning...that lesson of patience...I am learning to see things in a positive way...I am learning to see the simple things...for if nothing else...still after these 58 years I am learning that I am a work in progress!
Be Well....

Update...

We learned today that Michael's good eye...(Which would be the right eye as he can no longer see out of the left one)....is getting worse...he has cataracts which are pretty bad in that eye which will require laser surgery...he puts a great deal of strain on this eye as it is the one that he can see at least partially out of....I am holding on to the hope that it will NOT get worse fast...but rather will be a slow process...I can't bare the thought that he will not be able to see at all....
Again I have to say that the kindness and professional way we are treated at the VA makes everything so much better....Finally seeing that our Veterans are being taken care of...especially those from the Viet Nam era...
We are holding on....things haven't gotten that bad yet...although I am aware daily that his short term memory is decreasing more and more....I hold back from saying...."I just told you that" over and over again....such a small thing really....but when you are use to having someone remember the day that you met and what you were wearing....well....can be difficult at times!
In the meantime we make some small plans....the weather is improving and we will be able to be outside more soon....and the birds are singing....Life IS GOOD!
Be Well...

several...

appointments this morning....so off and running....
The VA signed off on the problems that Michael is having not only with his lack of vision but also with the embolisms....agreeing that they are both a direct result of having Waldenstrom....(this rare blood cancer) .... Today, we have to have the Doctors sign off on them too....Not exactly sure what this is all about....but I LOVE to cross my t's and dot my i's when it comes to doing this paper work for the government.....whatever they want....to continue on with the care that he receives is OK by me!!!
Be Well....

Not to worry....

First let me say THANK YOU to all who have E-mailed me privately to see if everything is fine here in upstate NY.....
NOT TO WORRY....I took a little R and R to rejuvenate...to regroup...to re-energize!
Things here remain the same....we are currently waiting for the new Doctor appointments...which should come soon...So it seemed like a good time to take a little time off from the routines of the day....quiet time...down time...
We all need to do that it order to best serve ourselves and others....for strength comes from caring for yourself first...as selfish as that might seem on some days....but I am feeling better....a little clearer in my thinking....and ready to face anything that might be ahead of us....
Spring is in the air and it is certainly one of my favorite times of the year....a rebirth after a long winters sleep....the stirring of the soul....of life....time to strengthen the roots...and tend to the garden of love....
THANK YOU ....THANK YOU...THANK YOU....for the kindness that you bestow upon me and mine in order to tend to my soul garden!
Be well....

Updating....all heck is around the corner....

After going to the Doctors yesterday....So much will have to be done in the next month....
there will be the Neurologist appointment to find out about the shaking...and pain....
there will be the Urologist appointment to find out complaints Michael has....
there will be the MRI which needs to be done in another city about an hour away...
there will be a stress test to see about the embolisms and the fact that he gets out of breath just walking up the stairs...
And then of course anything these Doctors order....
All just before we start chemo again....
BUT....the snow has all melted....and the birds are singing! So we go with the flow....
I have spent the last few days getting paperwork in order to clear up a matter about a bill that the VA denied....Yesterday, I talked to a really nice man at the VA and he got me to the proper people and everything was faxed to them that they needed....So happy that someone didn't pass me off...
We were talking about how great the VA has treated Michael....and I have to say the clinic where we go has been wonderful...and of course they know us very well there even though it is so large...So many veterans go there....it's sad to see....but I know that they are in good hands there.
So for the moment we rest....we wait for the appointments to start rolling in....and we enjoy the Spring weather that is approaching....
BE WELL....

A sighting....

I have seen 2 Robins in the past few days.....A GOOD SIGN of SPRING!!
Not to mention that I have attended a gathering of family to celebrate my mothers' 84th Birthday....and yesterday I made a "thanksgiving" dinner for the celebration of my sons' 35th Birthday....I so enjoy being around my family....it gives me so much joy....a great deal of laughter....lots of love...and strength.
I am grateful that I live close to them....even more grateful that I am emotionally (in a good way) bonded to them....
Celebrating LIFE...and LOVE....as Spring approaches....
It doesn't get any better than that!

Stories...

I have been aware of other people's stories lately...listening with my heart...
Everyone has a story....there is not one that is better or worse than someone else...
It just is a "different" story...My heart aches for some of these stories....I can feel the
pain of it...My heart smiles at others....and I can feel the joy of it....Each story that we
have makes us unique in some ways....binds us in others....
May you create a GREAT story today...
Be well....

Lemonade....

We all know the saying....
"When life hands you lemons....Make lemonade"
So just how easy is that to do on a good day???????????????
Not to mention a bad day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Life has a way doesn't it.....
there is always a way to make something that is sour sweet....
just add a lot of sugar!! LOL.....
Add some sugar today to whatever you do!
BE WELL!

Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Picture of Lemonade - Tipnut.comPart One:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup boiling water

Part Two:

5 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (8 to 9 large lemons)
1 TBS grated lemon rind

Directions:

  • Stir the sugar into the 1/2 cup of boiling water, dissolve.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate.
  • Serve over ice.
  • ADD VODKA!

A birthday....

Today, we celebrated the birthday of my son....he turned 35 on the 27th of February...
35 years old!!!!! Is that possible???? I am very close to my son...when Michael got sick he moved back to upstate NY from NC to be closer... so that he could help out when needed....He spends time with us every Monday on his day off...and I adore him....The connection I have with him started before he was born....like any Mother I suppose...but I was going through a divorce at the time I was pregnant for him...and he was my saving grace....he kept me from falling apart...My daughter was 2 years old and the two of them kept me sane (well...as sane as a mother can be with a baby and a toddler!! LOL) For almost 11 years (before I married Michael) I raised him alone...but Michael stepped into the shoes of Dad easily....he took Jason under his wing and jumped in...father and son bowling...little league coach...and Jason flourished....Michael is DAD to Jason....
So today...we celebrated his birthday by going to lunch with my daughter and grandson too....it was a wonderful day....and reminded me that I need to do that more often...make special days happen...be joyous....be happy...feel the love of those who love me....and whom I love very much.
But is it really possible that he is 35?????
After all....isn't that my age!! LOL

Trying to explain...

Have you ever had to try to explain to an adult why it is that they can't do something???? As an adult we are accustomed to the freedom of doing anything we deem ...anytime we want...if it so strikes our fancy ...we have the freedom to make decisions on our own...we've earned that freedom just by the fact that we got through childhood restrictions...heard enough NO"S in our life time perhaps....So when you have to try to explain to an adult that the thing that they might want to do....when they think they are capable of doing more than they can because their brain tells them YES but their body is telling them NO....it certainly isn't easy!! You try to do it gently...by first suggesting that it just might not be a good idea...and then you have to add a little more force to it when that child in them starts to rebel against authority...and finally you tend to have to just put your foot down....or get in there and do it yourself before the other gets a chance to....
It certainly isn't easy!!!!! But I am learning.....how to maneuver my way around this situation...

All's good...

On the home front!! That is if you like 7 inches of snow!! LOL I can't complain...this is really only the 6th time this winter that the snow plow had to come to clear out my driveway this winter!! which is UNHEARD of in upstate NY.....now, thank goodness I don't live in Baltimore where my friends do who have had 30 maybe 40 inches of snow!!
So all is good on the home front....

sending you some spring!!!!!

I'M SENDING YOU SOME SPRING!!!!!
This only takes a second and it feels so good!
I think we all need a little spring today!
I'm sending you some Spring!!!!

You will get a black page.
Click your mouse anywhere (& everywhere) on the page & see what happens!
Better yet, click (hold down) & drag your mouse over the black page...
Enjoy!!