Friday, December 23, 2016

Stupid is as stupid does...

I've been without internet access since 
shortly after the early December post.
Why? Because my provider and its techs
(mostly the provider) make changes without
reason or explanation.
We're still trying to get my sister's landline
number changed back to the number she's
had for twenty-four years.
I can almost understand why people go into
rages and do terrible things.

Friday, December 02, 2016

I don't know what to say...

Serious case of the blahs for no good reason
that I've been able to pinpoint. 
Enthusiasm has dribbled away.
Maybe I need more vitamins.
Or coffee. 

I'll be back eventually.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Red leaves...



Autumn hesitates
to drop her blushing garment,
before Winter's cloak. 


(photo found here)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

"They" said...

maybe a flake or two.
No more than a trace.
But, there are at least two inches on the porch right now. *sigh* 

I know, I know. It's too soon to whine.
I'm doing it anyway.



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Let's talk about something else...

Like a good book...



I walked into a book store
this past August and saw
this book on a table all by
itself. One copy. No other 
books around it.
Something drew me to it
and I thought it might be
a great birthday present
for my friend, Jan,
in Florida. She's been a
lover of horses all her life. 

I bought it and mailed it
to Jan before her birthday.
She is thrilled with the
book, partly because, 
as it turns out, one of her
uncles was part of this mission. How cool is that?
I'd never heard of this story or the book. But, something called
me to it that day and I'm so glad it did. I bought a copy for
myself after I learned how much it meant to Jan. 







We also talked about a Disney movie made in 1963 that
we both saw and loved: Miracle of the White Stallions

It tells the same story as
the book 'A Perfect Horse'.

I was 12 when the movie
came out. I remember that
Dad loved the Lipizzans
and Mom loved Robert Taylor.
I might just buy the movie, too.

Ya know, I would've been a
much better student in history
class if things like this had been
talked about instead of just
long lists of names and dates.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Hey, Joe...

Congratulations, your Cubbies did it!
Geez. 10 innings, rain delay. 8 - 7. Helluva game.
If Cleveland had to lose, I'm glad it was to the Cubs. 



Now back to our regular programming...

Friday, October 28, 2016

Game 3 in the Windy City...

Final score Cleveland 1, Cubs 0.

Wow. Phenomenal pitching on both sides.
Cleveland is leading the Series 2-1.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Indians 3, Blue Jays 0

On to the World Series...














Andrew Miller, MVP



This young man has a 
great future in baseball.
Ryan Merritt.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Not even normal...

Here we are, past the middle of October, and ninety-nine
percent of the leaves on the trees are still green.
Not complaining, mind you. 

Here we are, past the middle of October, and ninety-nine
percent of my Christmas shopping is done.
Not complaining, mind you.

Here we are, past the middle of October, and the sun is shining 
and the windows are open to a warm breeze.
Not complaining, mind you.

Here we are, past the middle of October, and ninety-nine
percent of the baseball season is over and the Cleveland Indians
are still playing.
Not complaining, mind you.

I couldn't fit that forth verse into the same format as the three
verses before it.
Guess I'll complain about that.

 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Maine vistas...

My brother and his wife celebrated their
30th wedding anniversary in Maine.
Pretty.  







































 

Monday, October 10, 2016

A sigh of relief...

All friends are safe.
In their neighborhood, a few days without power
and some branches in the yards.
Luckier than many others.

Good riddance Hurricane Matthew.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thirty days hath September...

I seem to have missed most of them here.

Today is drizzly and gray and quiet.
A perfect day to stay inside and read.
So I will.
Finishing "The Girl on the Train".
It's so-so. I'm guessing the movie would be
very much like the one with Ben Affleck
whose wife went missing.
Matt Damon would have done it better. 


ed: Finished the book. The ending made it worthwhile.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Still here, still breathing...

It's a long, hot summer.
Nothing new, nothing bad in the house.
No complaints.
Politicians are more frightening than ever.
I guess that's a complaint.
Take 'em all and stake 'em to an ant hill.
That's my mean streak showing.
 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My artsy-fartsy brother...

takes cool photos and makes them even cooler.
I guess he's a photo finagler. 
















Cincinnati skyline.
















Train graffiti. 

 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Heatwave...

Not one leaf has fluttered
in three days.
All the birds are perched
somewhere.
Bunnies and squirrels are
hogging the shade.
The only people moving are
those crazy baseball players.
Go Tribe.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

lawdamighty it's hot!

My computer says it's 93 degrees right now.

No breeze. Muggy. Sticky.
Feels like Florida, except Florida was doing this
every day starting in May and they won't be done
doing this until October...maybe. 

Did I mention we don't have A/C?

But, it could be worse. And other people could use
a hug and some good thoughts. Like my friend Joe


Friday, July 01, 2016

I miss the fireflies...

Where have they gone?
When I was young, it seemed there were hundreds
of fireflies blinking in the yard
every summer night.

Now, there are almost none.

Did I kill them?

I used to chase them through the yard
and catch them in my hand and put them
in a mason jar and close the jar with the
lid punched full of holes.

So they could breathe.

I'd keep the jar beside my bed and shake the
jar to make the fireflies blink.

Were they scared?

When I woke up the next morning, the fireflies
were all dead. 
I didn't cry or feel even a little bit sad.
I just emptied the jar in the back yard.

And waited for more fireflies to fill the night and
the mason jar.

Now I understand that nothing lasts forever.
I'm sorry fireflies.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Beach Pelicans...(originally published 4-28-2009)









skimming over
invisible slidingboards of air,
buoyant as balloons
no strings attached.
glide and slide
no care, so slow any
other would plummet
without flapping.
landing only to
belly-surf and find
lunch in the mullet pack
racing below glassy swells.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

A whole week without appointments...

How did that happen?
No doctors, no therapy, no treatments. 

Doesn't matter how, I guess. It's been lovely.

Hope all of you are well.
 

Thursday, June 02, 2016

ho-hum...

This shouldn't be an effort, but it is.
I'm boring myself senseless and you lovely
folks who still check in must be numb from 
all the nothingness that is this blog lately. 

Perhaps I should re-post some of the archives. 
Or not.
I'll ponder on that awhile.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Downshift...

Had my annual diabetic eye exam today.
Still blurry as I type this.
No major change in prescription but there are
tiny cataracts in both eyes (yay, old age!).
I asked if there was any way to slow down the
growth and the dr. said "vitamin C and sun glasses".
I can do that. See ya next year.

Carol is doing better since they stopped the chemo drug
and are only giving her Herceptin for now. As long as
the cancer doesn't start spreading, they'll keep her on
that. Maybe a year or longer.

She still has swelling in the left arm from lymphedema, so 
I'll continue to wrap her hand and arm every day.
All her fingernails are gone and now her toenails are
starting to fall off. Her feet and ankles stay swollen most
of the time. Steroids and water pills help some but not
consistently. 

All the years of advancements in science and it is still
mostly trial and error. Hit or miss. 

At least her energy level is better. She's getting antsy to
be able to get out on her own.
I don't blame her a bit.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

No wandering allowed...

It's been four years since I moved back to Ohio.
Sometimes I hate it. 
Then I feel guilty for not appreciating what I have. 
Emotional roller-coaster is exhausting.
Sunshine helps, even if I only see it through the
windshield.

Monday, May 02, 2016

He's all grown up...

and then some.

My nephew, Zack, graduated from the
University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. 
He already has a job waiting for him with
Northrup-Grumman.                                             

That's U. of C. President Ohno shaking hands with him.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Girls go shopping...

When the weather is this fantastically beautiful, it behooves
us all to ENJOY it. REVEL in it. GET OUT in it.
GO SHOPPING in it.

We did. We three sisters.

Carol needed new shoes because her feet are so swollen that
everything she had was too tight. Skechers to the rescue.

This was the first time in more than 25 years that the three
of us went shopping together and had fun. 
This is the first time in a long time that we were going
somewhere other than to a doctor's office, a hospital, or 
something else related to medical issues.

It was so much fun that we did more shopping and then
out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

I highly recommend all of the above. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Friday, April 01, 2016

8 hours in the E.R....

Took the E.R. eight hours to decide what her doctor's
office would have determined in no more than one hour. 

Unfortunately, her oncologist is on vacation until Monday.
She had diarrhea Wednesday, then her temp spiked Thursday. 
White cell count is low again.
They're concerned about her heart rate (122) and her
breathing seems labored even though she says she's fine.
They also scanned for blood clots but found none. 
The swelling in her left arm (lymphedema) is worse and some of
her fingernails look bruised. Might fall off.

The Phys. Asst. said they might have to seriously consider
changing the chemo. This mix is beating her up too much.
Five hospital visits in six months. 

Yeah. We all agree.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter...


Easter means that Spring 
is here or very close by.
New growth, new life, time. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

In and out in four days...

Last Wednesday evening Carol had a fever and diarrhea.
Called the doctor. She said to come to the office 
Thursday morning.
Thursday she was tired, pale. Bloodwork showed
low numbers again (she got two pints of blood recently 
because her hemoglobin dropped to 7.0).
Her doctor decided to admit her, do more tests and
another blood transfusion.

Test results showed she had C. Diff. - bacterial infection.
From what I read, we all have the C. Diff bacteria in our
intestines, along with other bad bacteria and a bunch of
good bacteria. In a strong, healthy body the good bacteria
keep the bad bacteria in check. In a body that is getting
beat up with chemo drugs and/or dosed with lots of strong
antibiotics (she's had tons of strong antibiotics several times 
over the last five months), too many of the good bacteria get
killed off and the C. Diff bacteria take over and cause infection
and irritation in the colon. This is also contagious, so we had to
wear masks and gowns when we visited Carol in the hospital,
not to mention clean the house and do laundry with bleach.

Of course, they had to give her an antibiotic to kill the C.Diff
but there are only a few that work. They put her on Flagyl.
With that and the blood transfusion, things seemed to get better
quickly. They sent her home Sunday with a Rx for another five
days of Flagyl. Monday was good but Tuesday she was extra tired
and her stomach was kinda yucky. No fever. 
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she isn't heading for relapse.
This made four hospital stays in six months.

The day she came home was birthday #65 for me, but by the time
we were able to sit and take a deep breath it felt closer to #95.

Her oncologist wants Carol to have three more treatments with
this chemo mix and then try giving her Herceptin alone.
She has a treatment scheduled for next Thursday so it will be
nine more weeks of the hard stuff beating her up.
 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Snow day...

Between 10 pm last night and noon today, we were dumped on.
About six inches of heavy, wet snow that stuck to everything.
Ev.ry.thing. 
Now, I'm watching it melt. Weird winter this year.
They say we'll get more snow tonight and tomorrow morning, then
Friday and the weekend will hit 50 degrees and bring rain. 
Might be some flooding. More weird. 

Carol is holding her own.
Her chemo was Thursday. This time only took four hours.
The first one was eight hours. They do the first of the new
treatments slower to make sure there is no bad reaction.

I can tell this new mix is harder on her than the last.
She's been tired every day since and her skin is pale and there
are dark circles under her eyes. I'm hoping her immune system
builds up so she can get back to her old self soon.
And, she's losing her hair again.
That doesn't seem to bother her much. She says she'll just have
to get a couple of wigs like she did before.  
At least she hasn't been nauseous and she's not in pain.

This Thursday is her birthday. She said she wants a new toaster
and a steak dinner. I think Ann and I can handle that.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Better news... UPDATE

Her numbers are better.
White cells went from .08 to 3.3... hemoglobin from 7.0 to 8.3  
after 2 units of blood Saturday... platelets from 108,000
to 119,000. This is with three antibiotics every six hours.

Blood cultures came back showing no infection, which is
great news. Her low numbers were strictly because of the
new chemo recipe knocking the hell out of her immune system. 
That makes her highly susceptible to infection.

We thought she was going to come home today but there
was a glitch. Her temp jumped to 100.2 last night. Doesn't
sound like much to us, but for her that shows her immune
system isn't yet stable or strong enough. Her body needs 
to hold normal temp for at least 24 hours before they'll let
her come home. 

Still, it's progress.  We'll take it.

UPDATE: Carol came home Wednesday. Back to normal. (normal-ish).
Next chemo is Feb. 11... fingers crossed no complications.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Realization...

Carol is in the hospital again.
White cell count is almost zero.
They're saying the new chemo is  probably the cause,
so they'll adjust the dosage for the next time.
In the meantime, they've given her two broad-
spectrum antibiotics to get a handle on the infection
until the infectious disease guy gets a read on the
blood cultures and decides if she needs a more
specific antibiotic. 

I am a slow learner.

I wanted to have complete faith in the medical people.
Took me almost four years to realize that so much of
what they do is a crap shoot, a flip of the coin, even a
damned guessing game.

What they have to figure out now is how much to cut back
on one of the chemo drugs so that it doesn't knock out
her immune system again, yet still be strong enough to stop the
spread of the cancer. And, they'll be adding Neulasta(?) to
her regimen which is supposed to boost the immune system.
They keep saying if this cocktail doesn't work, there are
plenty more available to try. Try. We'll see. Try again.

She's been really tough through all this, so far.
I can see the worry in her face now.
Too many speed bumps lately. Too close together.

Humbly requesting more of your generous good thoughts,
good prayers, whatever you can spare.
 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Plan B...

or are we up to C or D?

First dose of her new chemo cocktail was last Thursday.
So far, no more side effects than the last.
We'll have to wait, I guess, to see if this one stops the spread
of the cancer. And for how long.

She's still gathering energy. Being mostly inactive for the past
four months, it isn't surprising that she is nowhere near her
old level of energy. I'm glad she's finally 99% out of pain. 
She's still on oxygen, though. That bothers me a bit.

I apologize for not writing much lately.
Could be because I'm tired and I bore myself.
Always thought it very rude to bore my friends.

I need to work harder at finding the spark that used to
inspire ideas and even bring a chuckle now and then.
Would be nice to laugh more. 
Gonna stop before the whining causes nausea.
 
 

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Where's the beach?...


Brother Tom and his family went to Orlando for Christmas
and New Year's and all I got were these drool-worthy photos.
They say they had a terrific time.
I am such a weirdo... the huge crowds would have been more
than I could stand. I long for peace and quiet and isolation.  
And not one trip to the beach? Really? tsk tsk.