Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NOT my favorite obligation...

If I counted correctly, tomorrow will be the
eighth funeral we've attended in two years.
All relatives. All in their 80s except for Aunt Helen
who made it to 101.

Tomorrow is for Uncle Kenny, who was Mom's
youngest brother and last surviving immediate family member.
I wrote a bit about him just before I moved to Ohio.
Click on his name above for a refresher if you care to.

All the other funerals were for relatives from Dad's side
of the family. It's almost redundant to have family reunions.
This time I expect to see relatives from Mom's side that
I haven't seen in decades. Many in 30-40 years.

Events like this can make a person feel old. And mortal.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I know, I know...

Those loyal few who still check in here are probably 
wondering how long Robin Williams' photo will
continue to be at the top of this anemic blog.
This will do it.

Anemic indeed.

I'm taking vitamins now but they don't seem to be
boosting much of anything yet. I think I need a
new approach. Like reading fewer dead people's
life stories and more poetry and carrying a notebook
with me again. For starters.

I look at clouds a lot. They remind me of snowflakes
because it seems they're all different. Well, how could
they not be? They change constantly.
I saw one today that looked like Saturn. A big, gray
cotton ball with a wide, flat ring around it. Very cool.
Until it started to spread out like someone took a butter
knife to it and smooshed it out into a blobbish lump.

I keep thinking about not blogging any more.
But I don't really want to stop. I just feel guilty about
not posting much and when I do, it's way too much
whining (like now?).  I need a life. My own life.
If you see it lying around, please send it home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Popsicles are my friends...

In these long, hot days of summer without a/c,
I love them all... pineapple, fruit punch, grape, cherry...
The only thing better is lemon sorbet on a stick, but it's high sugar.

Supposed to be cooler for the next coupla days.
I sure as hell hope so.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's going to be a long summer...

Yesterday was a very bad day for my other sister, Ann.
She fell and severely broke her left leg. Maybe needing surgery.
She also sprained her right ankle and broke a small bone
in her right foot. They put a boot on the right foot and a heavy
cast on the left leg in the ER and referred her to an orthopedic 

We got a walker for her but still had to call 911 and ask them to
carry her into the house. (STEPS. I hate steps.)
Now she's trying to find a medical transport service to take her
to her appointment with an orthopedic surgeon next week.
So far, she hasn't found a service that transports from residences,
only dealing with hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

We've asked her HR Department for help in the search.
We might have to get a wheel chair because a couple of the 
transport services said they can take her but do not provide 
the wheel chair.
Didn't realize how much of a blessing it is to be ambulatory.

Carol is feeling well, but...her platelets got up to 89,000 about
two weeks ago but when they checked before her chemo on 
Tuesday, they had fallen to 56,000... lowest so far.
She also has cellulitis in her left arm. Same area that had a 
port and got infected about a year (?) ago. Antibiotics for 
that seems to be clearing it up nicely. They said the infection...
or the antibiotics... might be the cause of the fall in her platelet 
count. Not sure, of course.
Still, they ok'd her for the chemo, so that is still on track.

Carol has actually been a big help with Ann.
I think she would've made a better nurse than I thought I would
be, oh so many years ago.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Books keep me sane... usually...

I'm tired of only posting about cancer (she's doing well,
platelets are up, chemo continues on schedule) and since
the creative corner of my brain has shriveled to near
non-existence, I thought I'd post a list of the books I've
read since leaving Florida. I'm sure there are more than
what's listed here but what-the-hell. I'm not doing this for
a grade, just filling up space with something different.

Here goes:

Fall of Giants- Ken Follett.
Winter of the World- Ken Follett.
Winter's Tale- Mark Helprin (yuck. Gave up after 100 pages).
I'm Over All That- Shirley MacLaine.
Cronkite- Douglas Brinkley (slow. Not done).
Washington, A Life- Ron Chernow (slow. Not done).
Heaven Is for Real- Todd Burpo (so-so).
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, A Gift for Life- Dorothy Herrmann.
Dear Life- Alice Munro, short stories (yawn).
Lone Survivor- Marcus Luttrell  (better than the movie).
A Natural Woman- Carole King (autobio).
Stan Musial- George Vecsey.
My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business- Dick Van Dyke.
Streets of Laredo- Larry McMurtry.
Steve McQueen- Marc Eliot.
Steve Jobs- Walter Isaacson.
Eudora Welty- Suzanne Marrs.
the Time Keeper- Mitch Albom.
First Phone Call From Heaven- Mitch Albom (boring).
Philomena- Martin Sixsmith.
The Book Thief- Markus Zusak.
Flyboys- James Bradley.
On Wings of Eagles- Ken Follett.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society- by
Mary Ann Shaffer and  Annie Barrows.
Honor in the Dust, Theo. Roosevelt, War in the Philippines- by
Gregg Jones.
The Goldfinch- Donna Tartt.
The Fault In Our Stars- John Green.
Zealot, the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth- by
Reza Aslan (just started. so far, so good). 

I know. You're really really glad you stopped by.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Trust no one completely...

She got her chemo this week, even though her platelet count
was lower than last week.

I asked everyone within arm's reach "Why this week and not
last week?". Reasons given were conflicting and lame-sounding
which only succeeded in upping my frustration and anger levels
until... the oncologist's RN/PA came by, smiling and crowing
about how wonderfully well Carol is doing, then saying last week
was a "communication error". Seems the oncologist (who has not
made an appearance in weeks) forgot about the discussion that
set the acceptable platelet range (wouldn't there be notes in the
patient's file and wouldn't that info go to the chemo lab?).
My tongue is still sore from biting it to keep myself from ranting.

All I can do is be more vigilant.
If I had been there last week I might have been able to jog some

You see, Carol never argues with or questions authority. Ever.
She'll argue with me because I'm only her sister and have no 
authority. All those people who are trained to do what they do
cannot possibly ever make any kind of mistake, therefore they
should never be questioned only followed blindly like a brain-
dead lemming and when I ask questions I embarrass her.
Even when it turns out that I'm right.
When will I learn that I can't fix stupid?
Yes, I'm angry with her, too. She takes no responsibility for
herself, expecting everyone... oh, nevermind. I'm tired.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


you can never relax.

Carol was supposed to have chemo yesterday. Platelet count
64,000 (within the range they said was ok)... and the doctor
said "Nope. Come back next week and we'll try again."
Nothing else changed so I'm confused. And frustrated.
I try not to worry too much.

Maybe it's time to go shopping.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

It must be Spring 'cuz the dandelions are blooming...

Sister's platelet count continues to fluctuate from
61,000 to 73,000. After eleven treatments of Kadcyla,
the medical folks have determined that as long as the
platelets stay within this range, she's ok to continue
with the reduced dose every three weeks. So far, she has
no other side-effects (yay!) but we still need to watch for
unusual bruising and/or bleeding.

Church activities are keeping her active. Lent was a busy
schedule of baking and cooking and attending mass.
Easter was siblings, stuffed cabbage, ham and baseball.
Now the church folks are getting ready for their annual yard sale.

Weather last week was beautiful but this week is rainy,
although nothing severe like so many other places.
The first yard mowing will happen soon and when it's 
nice enough long enough, we'll be getting the house painted.

Look at that... a post with no complaints.

Well, except for the Indians and their painful beginning season.
Ah, well. Life ain't perfect, is it?

Thursday, April 24, 2014