Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weekend, doctor, and dad

Well, we are safely back from the SSB. The weather was beautiful even though it did begin to heat up - a lot! We were surprised to find four "feral" cows on our place however. It seems we have a fence problem back on the east side where the land pluments into a huge, deep valley. We did find who is leasing the property for grazing - and the owner of the cattle. From there we found the number of the land owner who is, as is usual in that country, a distant cousin. I think he's only remotely related to G, but I haven't finished my dad's genology yet. He may be a distant cousin of mine as well, but through a different path.

I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon yesterday. I'm so glad they left a message on the machine because I thought it was Thursday. Anyway, we are still at a decision point about the reconstruction of the nipple. It's a little tempting because it will take 15-30 minutes, done under a local. But he still wants to do it in the operating room both because of sterility and SHOULD there be a complication like bleeding. I am still mulling it around.

When I arrived at the parking lot, there was an older couple who had pulled up before me. I guess I should explain that I use the valet parking. Being right at the door is such a big plus for me. At this facility, it is free, so that makes it even better. Back to that couple. They were driving a fairly new Cadillac. When the man got out, I could see that he was dressed in a nice looking sport coat, tie and sharp slacks. He looked very dapper. One of the other attendants opened the door for the lady. She looked beautiful. She had on a lovely printed full skirt, blouse and jacket. Her hair was done meticulously. She walked with a cane, and he was very attentive.

I lost track of them because they got the elevator before I got it. My doctor was running late - about an hour, so it was a good hour and half before I was back at the parking lot. They were there. When their car arrived, he opened the door for her and helped with her seat belt, making sure the skirt was nicely tucked into the car.

I was so struck by them. They were of the generation that dressed when they went out. It didn't matter where they were going. They dressed appropriately. That meant being very well groomed. But that wasn't the biggest thing that got my attention. The man being so very gracious reminded me of my dad. He would treat his wife with the same consideration. He was such a gentleman. I miss him so.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Army of Women

On October 1, Dr Susan Love, in conjunction with Avon, began her campaign against breast cancer with Army of Women. She is looking for a huge group of women who could be considered for certain research opportunities to stop this killer. She is trying to formulate a ery large, diverse group for sampling. As a scientist, I know how important it is to have a large diverse group from which to choose for research.

On October 28, she will appear on Good Morning America to announce the first "Call to Action." She makes it clear that they will be looking for only certain qualities for this one and not everyone will qualify. This is going to be true of all of the projects.

I am asking you to please consider signing up with this army! If you want more information please go to I really think it will answer any of your questions. I feel there is no risk to you and the rewards are great for our daughters, granddaughters, and even sons and grandsons as they too are at risk.

I also added the pledge form. Consider signing the pledge to help keep research going. We really have come so far. If I had been diagnosed many years ago, I would have been given a certain death sentence. As it is, even though I can't know the future, I feel I have a real chance to live my life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What next?

In my search for things to put on my body to make it better, yesterday meant I traveled to the shoe store. Their claim to fame is that if you are having foot, knee, or back problems they have the fix. Well, OK! I was already sold.

K and I were going to go together this past weekend, but she has had a contractor rebuilding (from the studs) her kitchen. Silly thing, since he had finished she wanted to put it all back together. Humph! Dong that over her mother.

Anyway, I decided yesterday was the day for me to hit that shoe store. K was a little disappointed I think, but I needed help. My shopping on Monday had left me really sore and hurting. I had to find something that would help.

I walked into the store. They had two clerks actively working and a woman at the register. I walked to the woman at the register and explained that I had arthritis in my spine, knees, ankles and feet. She promised they had just the thing, and one of the clerks would be right with me.

Sure enough, the lady called me over to a chair. She could find me shoes as well as working with the other woman who was already there. And that's just what she did! She measured my feet. My right is right about a 9 1/2 - really closer to a 10. Then she measured my left. It was a 9.

I immediately thought of my time at the bra place. Great! One breast clearly at least one cup size smaller than the right - and now my left foot clearly one size smaller than the right! I could not believe it. I am completely lopsided I guess!

The good thing is that the clerk brought me about 6 pairs of shoes. They all felt great. I bought one pair. The bad news is that my feet feel the best in one type that is made in Germany. They are the most expensive. As she put it, I have Cadillac feet.

After my experience at the bra shop, I could really only allow myself to buy one pair of shoes. They are the first that I actually want to wear. Usually I go without shoes as much as possible. These are ones that feel so good, I want them on my feet. But due to their sticker shock, I only have the one pair. I am, however, in love with another pair of shoes. These are walking shoes. Ugly as can be, and priced at $265. I really, really want them though!

I can tell I will be back at that store. I will be getting more of these shoes. Payless will never see me again!

After my last two shopping forays I am afraid to be fitted for anything else. I may find that my left side is simply disappearing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


My mother in law may finally be coming to the realization that she shouldn't be living in the Alamo City. G's brother called last night with the news that she will be visiting the Capitol City at the end of the week with finding a facility there in mind.

Her first complaint is that no one comes to see her at her independent living place. Well, she is basically correct. I still could shake the liver out of her for putting a terrible guilt trip on my son about not coming to see her. He NEVER goes to the Alamo City! He often works overtime on weekends that he and his band don't have gigs. It would be the trip and a stay in a motel. All that adds up.

G and I don't go. For one thing when we go to the SSB, it is out of the way. Also she lives on the fourth floor. They don't allow dogs up there. Simone can't wait in the truck. When we DO come by, no one talks. There is nothing to say.

Another problem is that G still harbors great resentment about his mother. She made it clear, and still does, that he is not the chosen child. She has always preferred G's brother and family to G and us. She was abusive to G when he was a child. She would bend over backward for the brother's family. She even admitted it to my daughter in a weak moment. K is far more attentive to her than her cousin (who is three months older). At Christmas, it wasn't what my kids wanted - it was what the cousins wanted that was given.

It seems that Saturday night she was taken to the hospital. It was rather late when brother got the call. It was too late to get down there. I think she has realized that if she wants the comfort of someone around, she better move. Sister in law tried to tell her that at the reunion. SIL said HER mother was thinking of moving to be closer, but MIL laughed it off. She ignored the tone of SIL's voice when she remarked how much easier it would be to take care of her.

I guess it's sad. She has realized she is not the Queen Bee that she thought she was. No one is really going out of their way for her - with the exception of the chosen boy. I've been in that situation - more because I was the only child, but I surely don't want it again. I ended up moving them without their permission. I still feel some guilt about that, but there was no other way. You can't care for elderly parent(s) with them 100-200 miles away. It is just that simple.

So MIL has finally figured that out too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Whole New Experience

Never, in my 63 years, have I ever been fitted for a bra. But with my new plastic body, I figured I would never be able to find the correct sized bra. I think I was right.

I ventured out this morning to the bra shop. I knew that their merchandise would be pricey. K had been there a while ago, and walked out with $200+ of bras. I didn't think I would let that happen. Guess what. It did!

I went in and explained that I had a mastectomy and reconstruction. The clerk said ok. We went to a dressing room where she measured me. I was a little shocked. The band measurement was 6 inches more than when I was measured for the mastectomy bra that held the prosthesis. But then I did go tbrough chemo and my body held on to all those calories that I was hoping it wouldn't. I enter chemo thinking it would be a good thing for my weight. Boy was I wrong.

Anyway. The first bra she brought was an "E" cup. My poor little breasts were swallowed up completely. I'm not sure that my previous breasts would have filled that cup, but they probably would have.

The real work began then. We kept trying different bras. The band would fit but not the cup or the cup would fit but not the band. Or one cup was fine and the other was way too large. That is part of the problem. When Dr Plastic did the reduction, he got a little carried away. The left is much smaller than the right with the implant. His solution was to take some of the silicon out. I vetoed that right away. I know they are better now, but I don't want to take a chance on the silicon leaking.

After an hour, I scored three bras. Of two different sizes. Using band extenders. You see, now I have small boobs and a broad back. If it fits the back, it won't fit the boobs. But it looks good. I was absolutely amazed how good the sisters look.

That should be motivation to stay on my diet now. I surely need something.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dr Poison

Finally today I got to keep the appointment with Dr Poison. Last night I was wondering however because the rains have come to Swampland. Flooding, heavy rains. But we DO need them. Really. But I was thinking this would be canceled appointment number three.

The first that had to be canceled was the Tuesday after Ike visited our area. I couldn't even call to cancel because their phones were down. The second was the fiasco of them not seeing patients out here, and then I was afraid of being flooded in today.

It was really rather pointless. He told me that the bone scan showed the take up of the isotope was in the knees, feet, ankles, and spine. Bone cancer takes up the isotope in the middle of the bone. Diagnosis - arthritis. Wow!! Could have fooled me!!

His next announcement was that I should be exercising to prevent the return of the cancer. It is effective to prevent colon and breast cancer recurrences. Sure. I was on the recumbent bike for one minute this morning, but my knees hurt so badly I couldn't stand more than that.

Then he wrote the order for my mammogram in January. I don't see him again until March.

It was such an exciting morning. Now I guess I better go call Dr Plastic Surgeon, since I canceled that appointment for last Tuesday. I also am going to try another orthopedist. This time I'm calling another physician in the practice. If "Mike" for the first doctor is so busy that I always get voice mail, then I can see that succeeding appointments would also be a problem.

Exercise people!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No clean clothes

The appliance guy came on Friday before we left for the SSB and the reunion. I thought all was great. I got the trip to the grocery store in, the appliance guy, everything packed and the cars all sorted out to leave before 11.

I knew Simone's bedding, that caused the entire thing, had not been rinsed well. I went in to put the washer on rinse and turned away to do some other things. I went back into the utility room to pick up the laundry basket that had been put in front of the door. It was WET!!

I really didn't think that much about it at that moment. It wasn't until I looked again and realized that I had an inch of water on my floor that was running out of the door that I really got into action. My utility room was underwater. I turned off the washer and then went to spin to get the water out. I swept the water out, and when I was outside I realized that the water had run under the wall between the floor plate and the foundation.

I called the appliance guy. He apparently knew what was wrong. I think he has to hook something up again. He said he would be here this afternoon. Haven't heard from him, yet. Guess I'll call.

I really have my doubts about this guy. When I needed him before, he never returned the call. He said he knows our hunter who is a repair guy in Sweetland. A said he didn't know T was in the repair business. He knew him from parts sales. Hmmm. Is this a sign?

Monday, October 13, 2008


Busy, busy, busy weekend. We went to the family reunion in the Alamo City even though we stayed at the SSB which is two hours away. For seven of us and a dog, it was a lot less expensive - even with time.

G's mother tried to put me on a guilt trip - once again. She was going on and on about how my sikser-in-law had done "sooooo much" for her where as we haven't been to her independent living apartment twice since January.

M was telling us that HER mother is planning a move to the Capitol City and she tried to get MIL to say she would do the same. She talked about how much easier if will and would be if they were both there. It went right over MIL's head. She would rather they travel from the Capitol City to the Alamo City at her whim. What I did with my dad and step mom was hard, but I think that is exactly what needs to be done with MIL. I know she is in a "protected" environment where Dad wasn't, but noone should be expected to make trips to check on family like has to be done.

Other than that the reunion was fun. The rest of the weekend was a little nerve wracking. Monkey Boy needs a good butt warming. He has been allowed to get what he wants by crying for his entire life. Whenever things don't go his way, he whines. If dinner isn't chicken nuggets and fries with catsup, he cries. If he is told to do something that he doesn't like - he cries. It was a weekend of his noise. Mom and Dad (more Mom) are realizing just what they have created, but it is still annoying.

Doodle Bug is a red haired wonder! She has the temper to match that hair. She can be so happy one moment, and she is really ticked off the next. She does love Simone however. I wish I had my camera out when they shared their kisses. When Simone would get up in the mornings, Doodle Bug was at her happiest.

Lady Bug was her usual good self with the exception of thinking she could get her own glass yesterday out of the cabinent. We are minus one glass. I just hope she asks for help from now on. I really had to laugh when her dad said she should be using plastic anyway since he gives both older kids my thin, fragile juice glasses for their drinks. Ah, well!!

S and G were able to get the feeders up and running. Although at one point I was wondering if that was going to happen. They waited until about noon yesterday to even move. When they went out, there were three dead batteries! The old farm truck was dead, the Mule was dead and the four wheeler was dead. G said he was afraid to even try the troop carrier (the F250) or the Expedition. We must have some kind of warp field around us!

We are all back home and, some of us at least, are in quiet, peaceful places. I will spent the next weeks getting ready for Thanksgiving. There will be nine of us in the less than 1800 square foot space. One of those will be 6 months pregnant. Oh my! Should be fun. At least I know where the key is to our hunter's cabin. I may disappear there - often.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's all because of fleas!

As we live our day to day lives, everything we plan, down to the most simple things, can be instantly changed. I had the day mapped out in my head. Guess what - it all changed!

As a way of explaining part of what was going on today, I must tell you that we are having a terrible time with fleas and Simone. I keep treating her and the house, and G still gets bitten. I really think HE is the vector bringing them into the house. He is outside more than she is!

When I picked up her prescription dog food at the vet's office Saturday, I told them I was having a terrible time. They said there is a pill out that will make all the fleas leave her within 30 minutes. Well, OK. So I bought 2 of the little gems ($4.40 each). Since Saturday was hot, and we wouldn't be home when it was cool on Sunday, we decided that Monday was the day to give her pill number 1.

She tolerated it well, but since it was going to rain on Tuesday I would wait until Wednesday for the second pill. That was also tolerated well, and I decided today would be the day for a bath (at the vet) and the application of Frontline which up to now has not been effective at all.

I got her up early, had her go outside and fed her. Then I loaded her into the truck, and we were off. Now she thought she was going to her slaughter. She planted her feet most of the way to the back at the office, but they picked her up (all 65 pounds!), and all was well.

I returned home, and set about washing her bedding. I was fiddling around with something when the washer made a horrible noise. The bedding had gotten out of balance. I thought it wouldn't be much of a problem. It happens all the time with a large load. I opened the lid and shifted everything around. I lowered the lid with the expectation of the spin beginning once again. Silence.

I moved things around again. Moved the dial a little. Lowered the lid again. Silence.

So I called the Maytag repairman - probably woke him. He came out about an hour later. He poked about for a while, removing the panels from the machine. Then he pronounced he needed a part. He would return this afternoon.

Under normal circumstances that would have been fine. But today, I have Simone at the vet, and I planned to hit the grocery store as we are going to The Alamo City for a family reunion and I need provisions to make food to take. Plus we will be staying at the SSB along with K's family of 5. I need to prepare. We will leave tomorrow at noon. No time for the grocery.

But I guess things will just have to wait. It is almost 2pm. Mr Maytag has not called again. I guess I'll learn some patience and wait. I DO have to be thankful that he didn't pronounce the washer DOA. The thing is about 20 years old. I should be happy instead!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Such a puzzle

G is a devoted reader of the obits. When the paper is brought in, he settles down with that section and reads every last obit in the paper. Let me tell you, there are a lot of obits in the local Swampland paper.

I glance at them on occasion. Each time I read them I get really depressed. Perhaps it is because, not unlike anyone else, I simply don't know what my future holds for me. None of us are promised a set number of days, but I think mine are seriously diminished by the cancer. I cannot be sure it is really gone.

On another cheery note, I finally called the orthopedist yesterday. I got his "scheduling person" Mike. I had to leave a message. I could not believe that! I had to leave a message to make an appointment. Here it is, the next day at 10:06 and no return yet. I wish I could have had a job like that. Apparently he comes to work at 10am (or later) and gets off at 4. Wow! What a deal.

I also got a call from Dr Poison's office. They asked if I would come to the office across town. I said no I could not. You would have thought I was signing my death certificate on the spot. I wouldn't be willing to drive an additional 20 miles for an appointment that isn't all that important anyway. So we rescheduled for next Thursday. My, my. These doctors!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's time

I'm finding that I don't want to go any where. I don't want to shop. I don't want to go out to eat. I don't want to see anyone unless they are here in my house.

I'm not just antisocial. My knees and feet hurt so much that I can't stand the thought of walking around. Just going to the mailbox at the curb is a major trip.

G keeps asking me "so - when's that appointment?" He is talking about me making one with an orthopedist. I have to do it. I just hate to add yet another physician to my stable of doctors!

I see Dr Poison later today. I'm curious about the real results of the bone scan. I was supposed to see him several weeks ago, but Ike blew in and changed all our lives around here. I had called the office. The nurse said there were signs of arthritis. I wonder if the good doctor will go ahead and order an MRI. I sincerely hope not. I really don't want to do that. The thought of being in that tube scares the liver out of me.

I guess I should serve some cheese with this whine. We'll see what happens this afternoon. I've got the recumbent bike working (I think), so I believe I'll see if that will help anything.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Foot in mouth disease

I really try to not critisize how my daughter and son in law are raising their children. I KNOW it is not appreciated. I don't think I would have liked it one bit either.

With that said, I did exactly that last night. It was Sunday night dinner with the family. I was already not feeling well. I decided to serve frozen lasagna with salad, bread and a bought Halloween cake. Simple.

Monkey Boy is a picky eater, and he is encouraged to be just that. For lunch after church when we went out his was macaroni and cheese with fries as the side dish. That was washed down with lemonaid. Carb city.

I know he does eat spaghetti and other noodles, so I expected him to eat last night. When he SAW the lasagna, he immediately began crying and chanting no-no-no. This boy is four! \

My son was really irritated by this. Now they won't have their baby until almost March, and he is hopefully making his words nice and soft, but his feeling is that his kid won't act that way. I hope so for his and the child's sake. I was irritated also. I could see no reason for this act except for the fact that he thinks he doesn't have to eat when he is here. I felt the behavior was uncalled for.

When time for dessert came, at least his parents didn't give in. He sat on the floor by his older sister and just bawled. They remained unmoved. I was proud.

Then he came and sat on the sofa between me and his dad. His dad then asked if he wanted a sandwich when they got home. I just about had a cow. I said nothing at the time. His dad was then ready to go - right then. K was watching the program on TV. On the way out, I told her about the sandwich thing. She didn't believe me at first, and I assured her that the sandwich deal was going to happen. She became defensive and said that it was nutrition.

That wasn't my point. I don't like sending kids to bed without dinner, but come on. They wonder why is will behave for his teachers but not for them. This is the reason. They don't make him behave. I hate to see this happen to him.

They had a big birthday party for him at some children's game place. No one came. There is a reason. He is a bully and quite honestly not a nice kid.

K didnt mention it today when I talked to her. She apparently didn't think it was a big deal. I guess that's good, but on the other hand . . .

Friday, October 03, 2008


Right now I'm trying to decide if I REALLY want to go to the Alamo City to attend my 45th (gasp) high school reunion. I just don't know if I really want to spend the time and money.

High school was a great time for me. My high school was a gorgeous campus. We really were treated like we were more in college than high school. I was in the "pep squad" and had a great time with the other girls and the band when we practiced for half times together.

I loved most of my teachers. I know it's impossible to love all of them - just as I know that not all of my students loved or even liked me. That's life.

We have lived in the Swampland area for about 38 years. I haven't seen any of these people in that time. I haven't had any communication with any of my friends save one in all that time. When we went to the last reunion, none of my friends were there. I really was rather bored.

It seems that mostly it is the males who keep up with high school buddies. That's the way it looks from what I see from the high school site. That's the way it seems with my daughter and son's classes too. She doesn't see those people and doesn't care to attend a reunion. My son is still best buddies with his classmates.

I have to make up my mind soon. I am so torn.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Stronger than I thought

I kind of feel like the Little Red Hen or the Little Engine that could or perhaps a cross between the two (what a terrible run on sentence). Just exactly who I modeled most after depends on the time.

I felt like the Little Red Hen when I decided that since no one helped me move my HEAVY sewing/embroidery machine downstairs so I could go the the machine brand club meeting, I would just do it myself. I planned it all out last night. I would go up to put the materials and sewing supplies that I needed into the sewing machine carrier last night. Then today, I would go up to get first the machine and ease it down step by step. I would then get the carrier last. When they were both downstairs, I would put the machine into the carrier and I would be set.

There was some consideration to taking the smaller plain sewing machine, but my ego got in the way. This club is made up of those who have these fancy, dancy machines. I didn't want to be the one there with the older (much) little machine. Pride!! It causes some terrible things.

I went up last night and loaded (most) of the supplies I needed. Since I had the time for the club meeting wrong, I was able to go to the nearby fabric store to get what I had forgotten. I had to laugh at the others who showed up without some important items. I thought I was scattered at these meetings. I'm better than the first one (two months ago) when I showed up with NOTHING I needed as far as supplies. They thought I was some sort of alien. Well, there were three new people this time. I guess the club is getting their act together because they were warmly welcomed.

This morning I went to get the machine. I doubt I should be picking it up right now. I am still on restricted activities for now. But I gingerly removed it from the cabinet. I got to the stairs, and that's where the Little Engine came in. My stairs are steep!! We enclosed our attic about 20 years ago, and it became our kid's bedrooms, a bath and sitting area. Due to that - our stairs are steep and the treads are narrow. I "screwed my courage to the sticking place" as someone once said, and ventured to the stairs.

I always have a fear of falling on these steps. I really didn't want to trash my beautiful machine. But I managed to go, step by step, down the stairs.

Humph - I did it myself. I don't need help. Go me!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Loud noises

Three years ago when Simone first came into my house, I knew she certainly wasn't a guard dog. She was and is rather timid, and that's great. I really don't worry about her with the grandkids. In fact, she and Doodle Bug are such great friends that we call DB Simone's puppy. DB giggles when Simone licks her and hugs her.

Simone does not like loud noises however. During a thunderstorm, she will be right beside me. She just doesn't like them at all.

Recently Simone will growl if she see someone walking by on the sidewalk. I don't know what that is all about. I guess she feels she needs to contribute something to the workings of the household. If someone knocks on the door or rings the door bell she will now bark and want to see who's there. I really think she wants to greet whoever is visiting. She feels that is her role in the family.

Today she is stuck to my side. My neighbors are replacing their driveway. There is a poor man out there with a sledge hammer trying to break up the sections of concrete. This first section apparently really didn't need replacing because he is having a heck of a time breaking it.

When he finally gets some of it broken, they use a front end loader to put the pieces into a dump truck. That banging is really loud and feels like it shakes our house. Simone is not at all sure what is going on over there, but she knows she wants no part of it. Each time I open the door for her to go out, a bang comes from over there and she is back in the house - glued to my side.

I'm glad, for her sake, that I had planned to be at home today. I'm not sure what her mental state would be when I got home.