Friday, July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012 - Some Info and Ramblings


Surgery date:  August 6, 2012, 7:30 AM, Eastern Daylight Time

St. Luke’s Warren Hospital

185 Roseberry Street

Phillipsburg, NJ  08865

Main:  908-859-6700


Folks have asked about surgery time and hospital info, so there ya go.

You can join my Virtual Waiting Room for the event on Facebook.  Click here to see the invitation and RSVP.

Everyone reacts differently to a cancer diagnosis.  Some tell family and friends; some keep it secret, keeping it on a need to know basis.

My philosophy has two threads and is my own viewpoint.

One of the humbling lessons I learned from my breast cancer experience in 2001 was to ask for help.  That’s a tough one, as I am an independent and strong woman.

Just ask Dave.  <giggle>

A diagnosis of cancer is too big to be tackled alone.  One needs not only emotional/spiritual support, but physical support as well.  Ya just can’t do it alone, even at the basic level of fighting the disease, whether it be Stage IA or Stage IVB.  One has to have a dynamite healthcare team in one’s corner and someone to provide caregiving in periods prior to, during and following treatment.

While the emotional and spiritual aspect comes from inside oneself, knowing that others are standing by your side, whether near or afar, is so comforting.

All those good vibes, those prayers, those Reiki energy beams, the laughter, the intent of well wishes  combining together and directed towards someone in need – wow.  I’ve been on the giving side so many times . . . believe me, it helps.

There is another aspect with sharing a cancer diagnosis.  It provides an opportunity for others to share their stories, and that can be very therapeutic for them as well.  Perhaps they kept it to themselves at the time or perhaps they, too, “rallied the troops.”  Either way, the telling of the tale can be healing in itself.

Perhaps they were not able to share their story with anyone other than immediate family before now; however, because of wanting to provide support to another, they are finally able to open up and talk about it.

Cancer ain’t pretty.

The way people reach out to one another is beautiful.

My heart is warmed and I gather strength from all of you who have left messages, contacted me,  and are keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.  Really.  You make a difference!

From the LiveSTRONG Manifesto:

“Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.”

“Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life.”


Wearing Yellow and LivingSTRONG

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012 - Write Club


WRiTE Club 2012

Click on the picture to read what it’s all about

Just a bit ago, I signed up for this. 

Yes, I do have a lot “on my plate” right now, but this sounds like fun.  The fact that only one submission is required sealed the deal for me, as I cannot obligate myself to a regular schedule at this time; I can handle one submission!

Click on the photo above to hop over to D.L. Hammons’ site Cruising Altitude, check it out and sign up!

I’m Wearing Yellow and LivingSTRONG

Now go write!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24, 2012 - Surgery Date!


Monday, August 6, 2012

St. Luke’s Warren Hospital

Phillipsburg, NJ


Just gotta love your surgeon when one of the first things he says to you in his office is, “I’m going for a cure.”

Does that rock or what?

Today’s visit was basically that – a visit.  Dr. K. explained things.  I asked questions.  Dave asked questions.  Dr. K. answered them.   Estimated hospital stay is four to five days, not counting day of surgery.

I believe – I hope – that Dave is feeling more optimistic and upbeat after today’s visit.

We still have a bit of a road ahead, getting through surgery and then more waiting for results of the lymph node pathology.  One step at a time.

Dave and I have a bit of a reprieve, if you can call the waiting period a reprieve.  This week and a half will give a bit of time for my body to continue to heal and for me to regain energy levels.

It also gives Dave and I some very sweet “us” time.  I may even fire up the grill this weekend!

Unfortunately, Dave is now suffering with allergies or cold; he gets this about once a year.  It typically lasts a few days and he’s better.   Yes, we’re keeping a distance between us, as much as one can in a 40’ RV.  Right now he’s pretty miserable.  I’m doing the dishes tonight.  Slowly and carefully, but I have commanded that he rest.

  July 23 Harvest

Yesterday’s harvest; a wee bit fuzzy because it was taken with my iPhone using Instagram.  The original is not fuzzy.  Go figure.

We had more “excitement” this afternoon with a power outage that lasted about two hours.  No storm, just the usual random outage.

Maggie continues to be the laid-back, cheery therapy dog, light of our lives, Member #3 of our wee pack.  She’s such a hoot, such a joy and such a cuddle comfort.

Maggie therapy dog

Maggie the therapy dog, cuddled against me in bed

I’m doing great – essentially up all day – not in the office as I normally am, but outside walking, sitting in the recliner, doing stuff around the rig, taking care of work business and personal business from here in our rig.  Only time I hit the bed is at night for sleep or propped up reading, on my laptop or watching TV in late afternoon when it’s hot out and the bedroom is the coolest spot.

We have no shade trees over us and we’re sitting in a parking lot, so we do not get benefit from shade in late afternoons.  That’s okay – there are no trees to drop limbs on our rig or fall on it. 

Today was in the 90s and Thursday is to be nasty, too.  After that, we drop back into the 80s for daytime highs.  Having the awning out helps keep down the inside temp of the rig; however, the wind here is so volatile that days are rare when we can keep out the awning all day.  It can become gusty here with no warning.

Well, that’s it for now.

Wearin’ Yellow and Living Strong

Thanks for stopping by!



Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012 - Got Our Game Face On


Dave and I had a very sweet Sunday together.  Ran some errands; I was out and about for a little over two hours.  Really, really tired when we got home.  We spent the afternoon in our respective recliners (Maggie nestled on one or the other of us at different times) watching some good programs on PBS, dozing off and on, chatting quietly now and then.  Very relaxing, total bliss.

Meeting with surgeon tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM.  Will get surgery / hospital admission date at that time.

While we hope we will be able to say “I had cancer” and not “I have cancer,” it’s still the same road initially.  In limbo until surgery and path reports.  This video, this song by Wideawake especially for LiveSTRONG, tells you where I’m at.

Wideawake performed this song live at the inaugural LiveSTRONG Summit in Austin, TX in October 2006.  I was a delegate at that Summit.



Wearing Yellow and Living STRONG

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 19, 2012 - Good News and Not So Good News


It has been a long day and I’m still on pain meds now and then, so keep that in mind, okay?  Here’s the deal:

  • The staples are out!  Yay!  I feel pretty darn good.  Dave and I have been for a few nice walks in the cool evening and I even walked Maggie once or twice.  Very sweet!
  • There was a tumor on my appendix.  I won’t bore you with the name of it and all that technical mumbo-jumbo.
  • The tumor was an incidental finding and not related to the appendicitis. 
  • Appendicitis was a good thing; because of that, they found the tumor, got it and we are hopeful we have caught this in the early stage, a bit more surgery and I’m good to go.
  • I have the pathology reports from the appendectomy and am doing some research, educating myself as much as I can at this point.
  • More surgery is being scheduled, quite possibly for next week.  Of course, I don’t know it will be next week, but I suspect so. Dave, my surgeon and I are all of the attitude of “Let’s get it done and get on with it.”  This surgery both is diagnostic and therapeutic in nature. 
  • We go back to the surgeon Tuesday morning.  We’ll get surgery dates at that time.
  • We’ll know where we stand after we get the lymph node pathology reports from the upcoming surgery.  Usually path reports come back about a week following surgery.
  • I’ll probably be in hospital 4-5 days; that’s ball park, could be less, could be more.  At least this time I get to pack a bag beforehand.  It will be the same hospital; I’m good with that, as they provided excellent care.
  • Dave and I both really like my surgeon and trust him.
  • One thing at a time.  Right now we are processing this development.   We’re in this “room” of information we got today; I’m not opening any other room doors of “what if” right now.  No, I don’t know if I’ll have to undergo chemo; I don’t know my prognosis; I do not have answers to much of anything, so I’m not asking those questions yet – of my surgeon or myself.
  • I have a lot to do between now and Tuesday – more phone calls to loved ones, laundry, a couple of purchases, some personal biz to take care of, etc..
  • Even with these things mentioned above, most of my weekend is devoted to chillin’ out and spending time with my beloved Dave and our Maggie.  These next four days are ours.  All three of us piled on the bed watching movies, walking, and just “be-ing” together.
  • Dave and I stopped wearing yellow LiveSTRONG wristbands over a year ago but I still have a supply to hand out to others who might want or need them.  Dave got into that box this afternoon and now we’re both wearing yellow again.

Sarah Connor


Looks like my Sarah Connor persona is gonna get a workout for a wee bit longer. At the very least, I get to be a lady of leisure as I recuperate from this second surgery.

We are so fortunate to have a lovely environment in which to do so. Lots of birds, a river, trees, wildlife and quiet.  In addition, we have work which can be done by Dave while I’m in hospital and with me pitching in as I get back in the saddle again. 

Your comments are welcome “conversation,” as always and as I go through another round of surgery and “enforced laziness.”

If you do wish to contact me by the Kontactr  button above, please leave your email addy in your message.  Kontactr does not show me your email.

Stay tuned.  I’m sure I’ll be blogging as time, spirit and feelin’ chatty allow!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 14, 2012 - Home!

This was delivered this morning to the mill . . . .

IPPE plant

It’s a lovely plant arrangement and bear from the folks at the company to which we are contracted here at the mill.  The card is so amazing and touching.  Yes, this is a large company, world-wide, but you know what?  They care about their people.  Blew me away and I’m very grateful for the expression of sentiment.

Yeah, and the plants, too.  When I’m better, I’ll have these babies in pots and in the ground!

Yesterday my surgeon had indicated that I possibly might go home tomorrow, Sunday.  Another blindside when he came in this morning on rounds and said I was doing so well that he would discharge me today, or I could stay until tomorrow if I were more comfortable with that. 

Since yesterday evening I was feeling much more stable, even though still on a thickened liquid diet.  Yep, there is some pain/discomfort but that is controlled well with the Percocet.  Stable is about the only word I can use – not recovered, but good enough to venture out and go home.

I’m just to take it really easy, basically doing what I was doing in hospital.  I can eat whatever I feel like, just don’t go crazy; drink plenty of fluids and take my pain pills so I’m not in discomfort.  Rest, relax and heal.

So here’s the skinny on “you’re doing very well, considering.”  I asked him point-blank today.  What I was told is that when a ruptured appendix was in the state like mine was, the patient’s intestines, etc. typically stop working and there is quite an extended hospitalization.

My “machinery” kept on tickin’ over, hence the “doing very well, considering”  statement.

I think I was extremely lucky and blessed.  I think my self-Reiki and the Reiki, energy, prayers and caring energy sent out by everyone had a lot to do with it.

Honestly, he seemed a bit baffled and surprised (but pleased) that I wasn’t really, really ill.

Anyway, I’m at home in our bed, which is now my command center/oasis for the next while.  Laptop, phone, TV remote, DVD player and movies, books on my iPhone, husband and dog.

Maggie was as happy to see as I was to see her, and it was a joyous homecoming!  She knows Momma isn’t up to par and is being very gentle with me.  Took a wee nap a while ago with our Maggs nestled between my outstretched legs.  She never budged.

It’s about time for a pain pill.  Dave bought a roasted chicken earlier and I may go nibble a piece or two of that.  I’m hungry!

Life is damn good, folks.

Thanks for stopping by!

Now go write!



July 13, 2012 - Today


Thanks to everyone who has commented here and contacted me privately.  Your support, well wishes,  prayers, good vibes, shared stories – I am so lucky to have such comforting “voices” of my blogging family!


Typing one-handed basically tonight – wee early hours of the 14th -  because my IV point got moved this afternoon and my left hand is sorta out of commission now.

More walking, solo and with Dave, both morning and evening.

Surgeon says I’m '”doing very well, considering.”  Yoinks!  “Considering???”

Now looks like Sunday I may get sprung outta here.  Today I progressed to a full soft diet, which means pureed soups, ice cream, supplement shakes, etc.  My gut seems happier with some signs of substance!  Yay!

Dave was here this morning and then back this afternoon, bringing our Scrabble game with him.  My dinner arrived, so he left to take a wee walk.  When he returned, he brought . . . .

sleeping dog

. . . and I got all mushy-teary-eyed.  Since I can’t be with him and Maggie, this is one of those “sleeping dogs” and it “breathes.”  Its chest moves in and out!  Dave did not realize that and put this sweetie out for me.  We looked at it and . . . hmmmm . . .  “Is it breathing??”  Like Maggie, the fur has twinklings of silver in the black and, like Maggs, this pup doesn’t budge from sleep either.  This wee one even comes with a brush!

Dave had not been gone long when this arrived . . . .

balloon from rachelle

flowers from rachelle

Cheery flowers with balloon from my long-time girlfriend Rachelle in Texas!  This was a very pleasant way to be blindsided!  Thanks, g/f, not only for the flowers but the phone calls for making me laugh – but not too hard.

This morning had a rough start and I did indulge in two doses of morphine but things got better as the day went on.

It’s about 3 AM on the 14th now, and I had a Percocet at 2:40 AM, about 6 hours since the previous one.  Not bad.

Walking the halls helps not only physically but mentally.  This morning, Dave brought the jewelry I typically wear and I had a shower this afternoon.  Sat in the chair playing Scrabble for about 2 hours this evening and then another walk “around the block” with my sweetie.

Well, my night owl traits are showing themselves and I may just go for a wee stroll in a minute or two.  Why not?  My sleep pattern is wrecked anyway!

Thanks for stopping by!

Now go write!


Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012 - Dark-Thirty Hospitalized Ramblings


Heard the expression “dark-thirty”?  It’s really early in the morning before the sun comes up.  That’s what time it is now.

I think I have done pretty darn well and still am, considering I came to the ER with a ruptured appendix.  Yesterday I took 3 or 4 laps of the halls on this floor with Dave in the morning, had a shower in the afternoon and then a few more laps with Dave in the evening followed by sitting in a chair for a bit while he was here.

Thing is, I still have pain.  Well, duh, it’s only been – what – not even 36 hours since an emergent appendectomy.  My abdomen has been cut open and put back together with staples.  The pain is nowhere near what it was when I came to the ER; nevertheless, it’s still there, niggling away uncomfortably.

Perhaps I’m expecting too much.  Perhaps I’m too independent for my own good.  Perhaps I haven’t had solid food since Tuesday night and I’m just plain hungry.

Have morphine and Percocet on order.  Didn’t take the first Percocet until yesterday afternoon and had not had morphine since the ER.

Been catnapping and finally a bit ago said screw it, let’s try the morphine.  

Talked to my dear friend Rachelle yesterday and she told me that I should use the drugs while I’m in  hospital – that’s what they’re for.  If I’m hurting I can’t heal effectively and while in hospital I should focus on just that.

I know that.  Always helps to hear it from a friend, though.  And the lovely aide Debbie who just came in to check on me gave me the same affirmation.  “Don’t feel guilty.”

Okay, fine.  Slip that morphine into my IV line, please.

Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movies.  There’s some ancient black-and-white film on right now.  I’m gonna post this, turn out the light, watch the movie, perhaps nap and watch the the Sun come up out my window.

I think I feel a bit better already. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012 - Blindsided!!


Well, ya just never know, do ya?

Tuesday evening I went to bed with a bit of cramping in the gut.  Okay, it wasn’t severe  and I do have IBS, so figured it was that, a virus or just culmination of the hot weather we’ve had lately.

Wednesday the pain was worse and I really wasn’t feeling well.  Ended up in the ER of St. Luke’s Warren Hospital.  By then all I wanted was pain meds.  Oops.  Had a temp of 102+.  Oops.  Up for a CT scan and next thing I knew I was headed to the OR.  Oops!!

By 9 PM I was nestled in my room minus my appendix.  The rooms are all private rooms and that’s really, really nice.  This morning Dave brought my laptop and a few toiletries, and  . . . .

Hospital flowers and cards

Beautiful flowers and three cards – one from Maggie!

So my surgeon today said my appendix was indeed ruptured with quite a bit of infection.  Wow . . .

I’ll be here until Saturday at least from what I hear, getting IV antibiotics. 

Everyone – Dave, nurses, etc. – says I sure do look better today.  I tell ya what, I sure do feel better!  Had a few laps around the hallways with Dave this morning, a shower this afternoon and will sit in the chair a bit this evening while Dave is here.

Since I’m gonna be here, I’m making the most of the healing time – napping, listening to Reiki music, watching silly TV, napping and eagerly sipping my broth when it arrives.  Smile

My wonderful Dave has been taking good care of me.  No wonder I looked better after a nice hand-in-hand stroll around the hallway with him this morning!

I’m reading ya’ll blogs, but don’t know if I’ll be commenting much.  Get kinda tired after walking, showering and communicating. 

May be time for mindless TV and a nap!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012 - Tuesday Tips



If you’re looking for some easy reading for these sizzlin’ hot days when you are spending time indoors or at least in the shade, check out my friend Donna’s books on her blog My Write Spot.

Go grab one (or two or three or all of ‘em) for yourself and kick back in the cool with a refreshing beverage of your choice.

Let’s see, it does say “tips” as in plural, doesn’t it?

Did you know that the American Heart Association has an app for your iPhone?  It’s Pocket First Aid & CPR.  It really is nifty-keeno, informative and simple to navigate.  The “Respond Now!” section addresses several emergent scenarios/conditions and gives instruction on providing CPR.  You’ve spent $$$ on “toys” and items for your rig; how about dropping less than $2.00 for an app that could help you save someone’s life?

That’s it for me, peeps.  It’s cooler than previous days, but still bloody hot out.

Hope you’re stayin’ cool!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012 - A Little Progress


Well, Judy Reeves’ The Writer’s Retreat Kit made it’s way from our RV to my office this afternoon.  Having it in my field of vision will help in pulling another card and writing about one of the prompts.  I have been thinking and envisioning tackling another of the exercises.

See?  A wee bit of progress!

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 4, 2012 - Insecure Writer’s Support Group



The first Wednesday of every month’s post is part of the IWSG

During our two weeks of vacation in June, I did get a bit  accomplished on my WIP.  July and August are shaping up to be somewhat more quiet on the work front, so I’m hopeful I will have more time to retreat into myself and crank out some major effort.

Everyday life distracts me from hunkering down in my writer’s lair.  Is that an excuse?  Perhaps.  I’m not sure.  I could just force myself to sit here every evening or on a rigid schedule, but that seems too regimented to me, and I’m afraid what I would write would not be my best effort, not my true effort . . . not my Truth, and putting down my Truth is what it’s all about.

My writing starts in my head; I’ll have entire paragraphs thought out before they hit the keyboard.  Frankly, the past two weeks since vacation have been so busy with Life that I have hardly had two thoughts I could call my own.

I’m certainly not stressing about it; I’ll find the time when . . . it’s time!

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!