Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25, 2012 - Mellow Weekend


Dave and I are enjoying a well deserved mellow weekend.

Friday here at the mill saw the return of the crew (part of ‘em, at least) that is usually around; they have been gone since early July working at another site.

Interestingly, their last day here was Friday, July 6.  The following Tuesday, my medical journey began.  Thursday my staples were removed and bingo! Friday the crew returned.

Monday is to bring not only that crew but the roofers will be back on site after being gone for a couple of weeks.  Activity is going to ramp up again around here.

We were so fortunate to have a window of quiet at work to make this journey.

So, yes, we are being mellow this weekend.  Dave helped me get laundry going this morning, then he boogied out for some bike time. 

I spent the morning (between seeing to laundry) basically napping.  Later I mentioned to Dave I just seemed to want to nap (tried reading and kept dozing off) and didn’t know why.  His response was that I had been through major surgery recently.  Twice.

Oh yeah.  Well, that might have something to do with it!   Ya think?

So this evening we are sitting in the rig with our laptops, playing Words with Friends on Facebook and listening to music.  Silly, perhaps, but a very cozy, low-key, pleasant evening spent together, giggling over words and digging some rock-n-roll on a local radio station.  Maggie is snuggled in a recliner, happy to have her “pack” intact these days.


Hope your weekend is blissful, too!


Thanks for stopping by!



I am a Warrior.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22, 2012 - Anybody Got a Staple Puller Handy?


Ha!  Tomorrow I’ll have my staples out and boy-oh-boy am I ready!  As with last time, I know I’ll feel much, much better after that fun exercise.


Morning relaxing

The view from my zero-gravity recliner

This morning was so pleasant, even at 10 AM, that Maggie joined me for a couple of hours relaxing in the zero-gravity recliner outside under the awning.  (Actually Maggie had the other recliner next to me for herself.)  I read a bit and even caught a catnap of about 30 minutes.  Maggs and I both enjoyed listening to and watching the Ravens sharing a very vocal and animated conversation in the nearby tree.

That was after my walk, breakfast and other early morning activities. 

More of today was catching up on some things, including a stack of mail from last week.

Some of this was insurance documents and a couple of medical bills. 

All I can say is . . . thank goodness we carry health insurance.  Yes, it is expensive but I tell ya what . . . it has paid for itself and then some, big time.  Seeing the EOBs, what insurance took care of and what we owe, has actually taken a big chunk of stress off me.

It was another quiet day around here and now that work hours are over, Dave is off on the bike for a couple of hours.  Cycling is a longstanding passion of his and right now it is providing him with “sanity” and a return to normalcy along with its usual enjoyment.

Today I took a walk on the wild side and added to my dietary repertoire a half sandwich of white bread, a wee bit of Hellman’s mayo, a thin slice of deli smoked turkey with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese.

This afternoon I did sneak a teaspoonful of orange cream sherbet.  Man was that gooood!

I mean, can I party or what?  Party smile

I may actually be more cautious with eating than necessary, but I’m just taking it slow.  I’d rather be safe and cautious versus running into problems.  I’m staying hydrated and fed, and am quite content.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the near future when I can enjoy veggies of all types, salads, pizza, burgers, grilling and Mexican food again!

Not all at the same meal, of course.

Did I tell you about the recent bear visitation/sighting?

If not, I’ll try to remember to share that tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a Warrior.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012 - A Bit of Normalcy


Normalcy – whatever that is! 

Today was a few wee steps in that direction.  Hey, I even got dressed this morning and have managed to remain that way so far!  Very comfortably and loosely dressed but at least not in a gown or a “my mother would buy this” housedress.  Sweet!   Dave and I tagged teamed some laundry.  Some paperwork – both personal and business – got taken care of today.

Slowly.  But done.

This morning was very pleasant out, so I got in 2 miles of walking before 8:30 AM, knowing it would warm up pretty quickly.  I’m hoping to get the remaining mile of my daily 3-mile goal done later this evening when it cools down a smidgen.

We had visitors today at the mill.  Two retired gentlemen pulled into the parking lot, their car sporting a Georgia tag.  Seems they are on a “strolling down memory lane bucket list” vacation.  Having lived for many years in the area 30+ years ago, they left wives behind in Georgia and are revisiting old haunts and reliving memories while they can still enjoy doing so.  One of them worked at the mill and lived within walking distance.  They just wanted to park, stroll the grounds a bit and visit about days gone by.

We cleared it with our boss and allowed them to do so.   It was fun visiting with them, learning a bit more about the history of the area.  They seemed to get a kick out of the visit and seeing the mill (even just across the river from the outside), so I’m glad we could accommodate them.

It was nice to have a bit of activity around here, too!

Dave remarks that I am much more mobile following this surgery than I was at the same stage following the appendectomy last month.  He’s right, and that’s cool! 

My staples are to come out Thursday at my follow-up visit with the surgeon and I’m ready for those puppies to be gone!  I know that will feel better.

I find that I am still very emotional, but that is just one of the stages of survivorship.  A very good friend and sister survivor of breast cancer said it probably  has something to do with having a wee conversation with Death.


Really?  Ya think?  Go figure.

Again, I know it’s one of the stages.  I’m not depressed, but rather find the tears that can come so easily are those of joy, gratitude and a fullness of the heart.

There are whispers floating in my head of picking up work on my writing. 

All in good time.  Right now I’m plodding along as I can and want (with the love, assistance and great patience from my beloved Dave), feeling a bit stronger and more well every day.  There are still lazy times and catnaps in the recliner.

It’s all good.


Thanks for stopping by!



I am a Warrior.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012 - Making Progress

This morning was very pleasant out, almost cool.  I popped out for a walk to enjoy the morning air, knowing it would warm up and be a bit muggy later in the day.

Morning walk

Headed down the driveway into the property.  That’s our rig to the right in the distance.  Sure beats walking the hospital hallways, eh?

Another milestone today – food!!

For about four days I had been saying I could easily (and with no remorse)  bludgeon someone for an over-easy egg, yolk still a bit runny, on a lightly toasted piece of white bread. Ninja  (Not supposed to have wheat bread or wheat grains yet – white bread, white rice, white grain stuff is okay.)

So!  Having passed the criteria for solid food, this morning I indulged my fantasy.  Sliced off the bread crusts and slid that sunny egg onto the slice of bread.  Sun

Do you have any idea how exquisite bread smells?  It’s just white Wonder Bread and not even home-baked (which I used to do), so I know that sounds bizarre.

Trust me.  It was paradise.  Thought I’d stumbled into a scene from “Lost Horizon.”

Took me about 7 minutes to eat this delight.  Remember, I had not had solids in 8 days and my insides are somewhat rearranged, so I was taking it slow.  Besides, slow indulgence gave me the opportunity to savor each bite.

Later in the day I made a tuna casserole – total yummy comfort food.  Had about 3 tablespoonfuls of that.  Dave can also enjoy the casserole, and that’s a good thing.

These two “feasts,” along with the liquids consumed during the day, seemed like a freakin’ party!  Ha!

So today has been a combination of ambulation, nourishment and chilling in my recliner. 

Not a bad first full day at home at all!


Thanks for stopping by!



I am a Warrior.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012 - Home!


This morning my surgeon wrote discharge orders and by early afternoon Dave was playing chauffeur once again and bringing me home.   By the time we left the hospital together, I had clocked 3 miles walking the hallways on the 3rd floor of the  hospital.

Once home, we got some laundry going and Dave dashed to the market for a few items.  He is now off turning out a few well-deserved bike miles. 

In his absence, I have been making a few phone calls, resting and now and then putting some things away.  Just made up a batch of orange Jell-o which is chilling for a bit.  The way things are progressing, I bet I’ll be taking a few nibbles of honest-to-goodness food tomorrow!

Dave has said he simply cannot understand how I could be hungry – after all, I ate last Saturday and that was just a week ago!  Hahaha! 


Warren Hospital Koi Poind

Before I left hospital, a patient advocate came by to visit with me about my stays – quality of care, etc.  I was not aware of the meditation garden, so he took me downstairs.  This cute pond is there, complete with food for the koi.  I sat and fed the fish, which indeed came up to nibble the food and brush against my hands.

Maggie was very happy to see me, as I was her.  We are hanging together in the living room right now, each occupying a recliner.

The flower arrangements were still looking nice and were left at the hospital.  We simply do not have room for them all and, more importantly to me, they can be enjoyed by the staff who took such good care of me (and looked after Dave, too) and distributed to patients who could use some cheer and color.

There is much healing to do, but I have made strides already.  We’ll have to go to a few doctor appointments, but our sight is looking to the good times to come down the road!

Thanks for stopping by!



I am a Warrior.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18, 2012 - Post Op Day 5


I apologize for not commenting on blogs recently.  I do read and keep you all in my thoughts; however, my attention span is still not up to par.


Flowers and Cards

My “cheer-ing section” which brings much appreciated cheer and smiles to my room, not to mention folks commenting on how nice it smells in here with the flowers, marveling at my “breathing dog” and enjoying Scotland tales prompted by the photograph of Dave and I sailing on Loch Ness.

Yep, I am still in hospital on a clear liquid diet, which I am tolerating quite well along with an oral pain med on an as-needed basis, which is by no means as often as I could get it.  My body is taking a while to wake up and until it does so I am restricted to this diet.  My surgeon is, however, extremely pleased with my progress, especially taking into consideration the physical ordeals my body has endured over the last month.

If he does discharge me tomorrow, the thought is that I can do at home what I am doing here. 

Rest, hydrate and heal.

What I miss the most (besides the obvious of Dave, Maggie and home) is being outside.  With that in mind, my doc did write orders that I could dress in whatever is comfortable and go downstairs and outside for a few minutes when Dave returns for his afternoon/evening visit.  Just want to soak up some non-hospital air and hopefully some sunshine.

View from Room 368

View in one direction from my window.  At least I can see greenery, trees, hills and sky.

Thank goodness for a window!  I watch the evening darkness creep in, was treated to a light show of lightning during last night’s storm and I greet each day as it awakens and light begins to brighten the Earth.

I’ve been up and about since approximately 6 AM, so I think I’ll chill and watch some TCM prior to Dave’s arrival.

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

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a Warrior

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012 - Everybody Do The Happy Dance!


I am very, very happy to report that path reports were clean!

“Happy” really does not describe it.

I actually let go and started crying, Dave holding me.  Happy tears.  Crying and laughing at the same time.

Relief.  Gratitude.  Joy.  Lifting of a cloud.  Thinking about all the things Dave and I still have time to do together.

Simple things.  Like sitting outside watching stars and wildlife in the evenings.   Like he was doing last night back at the rig, missing me; me here at the hospital thinking of him doing that and missing being there with him.

My body still has to “wake up” enough to tolerate food and that may take a few days still.  It’s getting there, but not quite yet.  A bit frustrating, but we keep in mind that my body has been assaulted, invaded and insulted over the past month with the previous ruptured appendix and that surgery, and then this episode.  Now that we have good news, we can both relax and that surely will help my healing process.

From Scotland family

These arrived from my family in Scotland and Australia today!  Thank you all; your love and support has lifted me up and continues to do so.

It’s awkward to type with an IV line and in a less than optimal height position, so pardon errors or brevity.

More tomorrow or later, but gonna go for now. 

I wanted to let you all know the wondrous news, as you have been making this journey with me.

Your presence, thoughts, comments, prayers, energy, jokes and good vibes have made a difference.

Believe it!

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

Thanks for stopping by!





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012 - Post Op Day 2



Dave brought our Scrabble set with him this morning.  We started a game and then finished it this evening.  Started another one which we will can carry over to tomorrow.

I was tickled that I got 4 consecutive hours of sleep last night, took a stroll in the early morning and then had a wee nap before Dave’s morning visit.  I would say that today I have definitely been out of bed more than I have been in, and that’s a good thing.

Still nothing by mouth except ice chips, but hopefully that will change soon, perhaps tomorrow.  It will happen when my body is ready, so no rushing things.

I confess I did have a wee 45-minute or so nap this afternoon after being up a lot.  Did this just a bit before Dave’s arrival this evening which was fine, because I was ready to walk and sit in the chair for continuation of our Scrabble fest. 

I have also been able to cut back considerably on the pain med, although I am by no means suffering.  If I feel I need it, I ask for it.  I’m sure I’ll get a dose later tonight to help me sleep.  Pretty good, I think, for my 2nd day out from surgery.

From Rachelle

These arrived this afternoon from my friend Rachelle and there’s a balloon attached that says, “To cheer you!”  We met working at Exxon back in “the day” and have been BFF for a loooong time.  Thanks, Rachelle!  They did cheer me up!

Well, I have a couple of phone calls to make and then it may well be time for a walkabout, so I’ll say good-night.

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

Thanks for stopping by!



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012 - Update


Sunday was rough but I kept it together until about 1 AM Monday morning, at which point I became violently ill and subsequently experienced my first ever transport via ambulance.  Thanks to Holland Police Department and Milford-Holland Rescue Squad for helping us out.

After being stabilized in the ER and subsequently admitted to the hospital, my surgery went on as scheduled.  Everything went very smoothly and the procedure was indeed performed  laparoscopically.  Pain control was an issue immediately following in the recovery room, but that was soon remedied.

By yesterday evening I was still pretty darn groggy but able to communicate and steadily improving as the hours passed.  I managed some catnaps and even about two hours of continuous sleep at one point during the overnight.

Today has been a much better day.  Ambulating, cleaned up and in my own “this is something my mother would buy” housedress, I am feeling absolutely brilliant compared to the previous two days.  Although not entirely pain-free, my pain is definitely controlled.  This has been extensive major surgery and I have expected (and been told) that some discomfort is typical. 



Dave arrived this morning, bringing flowers and four cards – two from him and two from Maggie!  He spent quite a bit of time helping me settle in – getting my computer set up and so forth.  Thanks, darlin’!

I have had several walks, lots of phone calls and a visit by Andrew, who owns the roofing company that has been working at the mill lately.   He accompanied me on one of my strolls  and rolled my IV stand across the “speed bumps” in the floor for me.   I’ve managed to cross the “speed bumps” unassisted during the two walks I’ve had since the one with Andrew. 

This afternoon, two more flower deliveries occurred!

From Linda and Don

From my aunt and uncle in Houston; thanks, Linda and Don!  Nurses and aides have been commenting on the lovely fragrances!



From The Violet Crown, the cycling club Dave rode with in Austin.  He still belongs to the club and wears their colors when racing.  Thanks Kurt and everyone for thinking of me!

Dave was back this evening to spend time and stroll the hallways with me.  His presence is so comforting; he seems to know when I need a hand to hold, a gentle hug or a just a good old giggle. 

My beloved Scotsman has essentially been up since 5 AM Sunday, with only brief catnaps since then.  I do hope he sleeps tonight. 

Did I mention I’m a very lucky gal?

Pathology reports will not be back for a few days; perhaps while I am still in hospital or perhaps after discharge.  We have hopes that I will be discharged sometime over the weekend if all goes well.

In the meantime, I am focusing on recovery from the surgery.   I am receiving excellent and compassionate care at this facility and am as comfortable as one can be in this situation.

To all of you who have called, written or expressed your concern and affection in other ways - - - I am so very, very touched.  Believe me when I tell you that I have felt, and continue to feel, your support, and I am so very grateful.

My night nurse just came on duty and we had a visit.  I’ll be heading out in just a bit for another wee stroll, a slow wee stroll but a walkabout just the same.  Gotta keep movin’!

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

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012 - It’s A Go!



Monday, August 13, 2012 – Noon

St. Luke’s Hospital – Warren Campus


Got clearance from my GP this morning, so we’re go for surgery on Monday.  I’m guessing I’ll be under at least three hours and in hospital four to five days, best case scenario.

Of course, I would like all this to simply disappear; however, that’s not going to happen.  Instead, let’s look it straight on, get it done and get on with things.

Hopefully the “things” are recovering from surgery and then resuming, as Dave calls it, our “weird and wonderful life together.”

No walking today, as it was raining torrentially earlier and is forecast to continue coming down off and on the rest of today and most of tomorrow.

Besides that, I’m really just resting until Monday.

Oops!  More raindrops started just now.

My bag is packed, my hair got trimmed the other day, bills are paid up, the hospital has WiFi, my iPhone has books on it and there’s ice cream in the freezer for today and tomorrow. 

I’m good!

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

Thanks for stopping by!




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012 - Resting and Waiting


Seems that’s what my life is about right now.  Resting and waiting.

Not that I’m complaining.

Well, maybe I do need a wee piece of cheese with my whine. 

We now have an updated surgery date and time – Monday, August 13 at noon – pending medical clearance from my GP this Friday.

Mentally I’m ready.  Hope my body agrees.

This week I am listening to my little voice.  If it says, “Lie down for a nap,” I give in and do so.  If it says, “Go for a walk,” I take a stroll (except in the heat of the day).

Yesterday morning and this morning I walked just a bit over one mile.  Not my usual two miles and at a much slower pace, but I did it.  Felt darn good, too!

One would think with all this enforced leisure time I would be blogging on a consistent basis and writing.  Goodness knows a second diagnosis of cancer gives one fodder for writing.   

Truth be told, my attention span is a bit short and I simply have a difficult time concentrating on anything other than what business things must be done, TV, reading a short story now and then, surfing the Internet and so forth. 

That’s okay, though.  I’m just going with the flow. 

It’s all part of resting and waiting.


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

Thanks for stopping by!

Now go write!



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012 - Insecure Writers Support Group




July and August certainly are not panning out as expected.  What’s that saying?  Something about sharing your plans with The Universe and then watch it step back and laugh?

Emergent appendectomy and subsequent cancer diagnosis have captured my attention and energy (physical and spiritual) since my IWSP July post.  When I’m not dealing with the physical or business (i.e., personal paperwork, insurance) aspects of this unexpected presence in my life, I am focused on spending blissful time with Dave and  Maggie. 

Just shows you how your life can change in a heartbeat.

So it dawned on me as I was surfing the Web during the predawn hour just now – wow, it’s almost time for another IWSGP post!

Am I insecure about my writing?  Hell no.  At this point, if I wanted to find something to be insecure about, I have a variety of choices presenting themselves for selection.  Writing is not exactly at the top of the list these days.

Truth be told, I’m not feeling insecure about much of anything.  My inner strength persona of Sarah Connor has stepped up to the plate, ready to kick butt and take no prisoners.


Sarah Connor


Well, okay, I do confess that I have teary/mushy moments now and then, but they are not related to fear or insecurity.  These moments come with the simple joys of walking hand-in-hand with Dave, hugging and playing with Maggie, during phone conversations with friends, and so on.

Nope, that’s not insecurity. 

That’s just loving Life.


Wearing Yellow and LivingSTRONG

Thanks for stopping by.  Now go write!