Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Year Past Chemo!

Whoo hoo!  A year ago today I was disconnected from the chemo pump for the last time!!  That was a freedom you just can't imagine! 

As I look back at the year, I can say it's been a good one for me and my family.  Even though my mother was diagnosed with Stage I Uterine Cancer, she needed no further treatment other than the hysterectomy.  God is great! 

Even though my sister had a hemicolectomy and a hysterectomy to remove the likelihood of her getting Colon Cancer or Uterine Cancer, she was back to running on the treadmill a week after her surgery.  She's even run a marathon and a few other long distance runs.  (How do you categorize a run if it's not a marathon; i.e., 26 miles?)  She recovered quick and is very healthy otherwise.  God is great!

My health has been very good over the last year.  Only one cold which is no big deal.  All my PET scans have been clear and I'm looking forward to my future without cancer.  God is great!

We have been blessed with a second granddaughter, Lilly Paige, and are expecting Dixie on December 31 unless she decides to make an earlier entrance! 

I have been knitting like crazy and enjoying it so much.  It's wonderful to be able to create something that I know will keep my grandchildren warm and look beautiful at the same time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Port Removal Scheduled!

The last month or so things have been going well.  In fact, I met with my oncologist's nurse practitioner, Denise, this past week and discussed having my port removed.  Today, someone from the hospital called to schedule my port removal surgery.  We decided on this Wednesday, October 13 at 7 a.m.  I know!  I'm not a morning person but Phil thought getting there early in the morning and having it over with would be better for us as I could sleep the rest of the day.  So, I'm pretty excited about getting the port taken out!

Yesterday we went over to the beagle club to get in a few hours of work.  The day was unbelievably warm and gorgeous.  We managed to get in four hours cutting down Autumn Olive trees and making brush piles for rabbits.  We took along two dogs and they spooked up some rabbits and tracked them while we worked.

Saturday was my DAR meeting.  First one I attended since Nancy Wood became chapter regent.  The program speaker was Patty Miller from the Jacobs Creek Watershed Assoc.  I took photos with my cellphone.  Have to remember a camera next month!  The meeting went well and Nancy did a great job!

Ralph and Jess stopped over to bring me another document for Lilly's C.A.R. application.  Now to get the documentation for Jassmine's as well.  Then after Dixie is born we'll get hers done.

Really weird thing happened tonight.  Phil and I were sitting on the couch watching the tv program Chuck and I was knitting.  We distinctly heard the sound of someone knocking twice on either a glass window.  Phil asked if someone was here and I got up to look.  I checked the back door and then looked out the window.  Nothing.  He went onto the front porch and looked around.  Nothing.  I don't know what it was but we both heard it plain as day.  Weird.

DaRn!  Internet Explorer just blew a gasket and deleted the last paragraph of this blog post!  WAH!  I wanted to tell you how far along that I've gotten on Lilly's sweater.  I managed to finish that first sleeve and knit it into the yoke.  Now I've started on the second sleeve which will also be knitted into the yoke and from there on it will be knitted as one piece.  Here's a photo:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Slow Going

I started a sweater for my granddaughter Lilly last month.  I picked out the pattern soon after Ralph and Jess told me they were expecting!  I've been working on it every opportunity that I get, even if it's when I'm a passenger and Phil is driving.  I figure the more I work on it the faster it'll get done. 

Well, it's one month into the sweater and I've only gotten six inches of knitting completed.  It's an easy knit.  I just find working with size 2 needles to be cumbersome, that and the amount of stitches on the needles!  Still, I'm hoping that I can have it finished before she outgrows it.  Such was the problem with some things I've made for granddaughter Jassmine.  I finished the pink cotton knitted dress for Jassmine last month; she tries it on and decides she doesn't like it.  Ugg!  Maybe it will still fit her next year and she'll decide she likes it then.  I can only hope.

I stopped by the Salvation Army thrift store in Latrobe on my way home from work today.  I found a lot of good buys and saved 50% on clothes because Wednesday is "Family Day."  I bought a set of twin bed sheets each for Chucky and Jassmine.  A top and two pairs of leggings for Jassie.  Two dresses for Lilly and some newborn baby outfits for Dixie who is due to be born on January 2.  Oh, and another Barbie, a pair of tights for Jassie and for Lilly, and a baby bag for Dixie.

We had a massive storm here at the house this afternoon which occurred almost as soon as I came in the door from putting Bella out on the cable.  I barely had time to run back out the door to get her before tree limbs came down and a multitude of leaves flew in the door and the rain started!  I was so pleased with her.  I gave her the sit command while I picked up the debris from off the floor of the dining and living room and she actually minded me.  She was probably wondering why it was taking me so long to pick up leaves and sticks from off the floor!  I opened the door to the basement and gave her the kennel command and away she ran down to her kennel.  She went inside and sat and waited for me.  I was so pleased!  Good girl, Bella!

Monday, September 20, 2010

PET Scan

I'm on the frequent monitoring list with my oncologist.  My latest PET scan was on Sept 7 and I was to have a follow up appointment with the nurse practitioner on the 9th.  The scan happened but the follow up was postponed until Oct 7.  Scan results were CLEAR and my CEA levels were still 0.5!  Yay!

Have been busy at home and at at work, and most recently, with my DAR chapter.  Brought home the Dell computer that I donated to the chapter to make necessary software and hardware updates.  We're getting internet service at the chapter house!  This will make it so nice for doing research in our library.

I'm working on the chapter's Oct-Nov newsletter and was asked this morning to take over as the adult leader for our Peggy Shaw C.A.R. chapter.  I said yes.  This is in addition to being the PA state chairman of commemorative events, which is a job I'm looking forward to this term!

Phil and I have spent a lot of time traveling recently.  giggle  Driving back and forth scouting out various pheasant and grouse potential hotspots for him to hunt.  Have it all mapped out in GPS coordinates with his Garmin.  The dogs are looking forward to getting out to hunt with Phil.

We took Opal up to be bred last week at Warriorsmark to one of their stud dogs, Harley, another German Shorthair Pointer.  Hopefully it'll work out and we'll have pups in Nov.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Newest Granddaughter!!

Our newest granddaughter was born on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 7:28 a.m. She was in the NICU until yesterday but she's doing fine and will probably be discharged with her mommy today. Lilly Paige weighed 6 lbs 3 oz and was 18.5 inches long. About the same size her daddy was when he was born.

We visited with them on Saturday evening. I was able to hold her in the NICU. She's lovely! She has dark hair and eyes. She looks just like her mommy and even has her heart shaped face.

I can't wait for them to get to go home! I am so proud of my son and daughter in law.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I saw Dr. W recently for my yearly exam. Hey, I lost four pounds. Think it was because I took off my shoes and my jeans? hehe

We talked a little bit about life and families, etc. then he told me he had received a report from my oncologist, which he read to me. Seems my oncologist says I'm in complete remission. Cool! All is good. Just wanted to pass it along. I've been so busy with sewing, knitting and everything else except for cleaning that I forget to post to the blog. LOL!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today's Follow Up Visit

I met with Dr. V at the cancer center today. My appointment was for 1:15 and I got there at 1 p.m.

I sat in the reception area until 1:15, then was called back for vitals by one of the nurse aids. I'm not going to reveal how much the scale said I weighed (LIAR!) but the blood pressure cuff tried to cut my arm off before it gave a reading of 132/91. Not a good bp.

I got back to the exam room at 1:20 and Dr. V came in at 1:50. I was beginning to think they forgot I was there!

He walked in and said my blood counts were all normal and my CEA level was still below 0.5. Didn't say a word when he saw that I'd gained three more pounds since I was there in March! LOL. Guess he knows better than that.

He says to me, "Stay Cured," then tells me my next appointment will be in September and we'll schedule me for a PET scan sometime around then. Yay! All is still good!

We discussed my bp. He looked at my chart again and said my bp tends to fluctuate and he wasn't worried. Thought it might be because I get really worried and worked up prior to visits. That is so true.

Chrystal had an appointment for a sonogram at the hospital this morning. She sent me a picture message with the sonogram pic of the baby. Said all was still good. Heart beat was good and the baby was moving around like a kickboxer. That is really good because I was worried since she had been spotting and had been cramping.

Phil and I went fishing in the boat at Donegal Lake this weekend between rain spells. Didn't even get a bite. Still, it was very relaxing. Afterward we had dinner with Ralph and Jess at their house. Didn't stay long. The kids were heading out to go night fishing. All is great with Jessica's pregnancy. Baby Lilly has about a month to go before she makes her grand entrance.

I've been sewing like crazy for the past two weeks. First I made two outfits for Jassmine and then started sewing for Lilly. If Bella hadn't escaped and had me chasing her this morning I would have finished another outfit for Lilly today. Thankfully, Bella returned or it would have been a tremendously sad day in the Urban household. Moral of the story? Dogs on leashes at all times. No exceptions.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Cancer Testimonial

Today I was asked to give my cancer testimonial so I spent all day working on this with input from my sister, Kim. Thanks Kim!

Two weeks ago I was asked to do a blog radio program on cancer as a chronic illness. I found writing to be easier for me than speaking over the phone to listeners I don't know. :)

Here is what I wrote:

On the day before my 45th birthday, I sat in my primary doctor's office. I was there because I felt there was something wrong. I'd been experiencing almost constant diarrhea for more than six months and knew the symptoms of colon cancer.

I went for blood tests, stool and bowel tests, bowel x-rays and finally, after some discussion, given the authorization to see a gastroenterologist. A month passed before my scheduled appointment. We scheduled my colonoscopy for two weeks away on September 5, 2007.

I was the youngest person getting the procedure done and the only person who had a bad report. The doctor came in to tell us that he'd found a tumor and that I needed surgery ASAP. We left and called our family doctor for the name of a surgeon.

A week later I went in for what I thought would be a consultation with the surgeon, so I went alone. He walked in and wanted to know why I was there. I asked if he had received the report from my colonoscopy and he said yes. He wanted to know if I understood why I was there. I said yes, the doctor found a tumor and I needed surgery to remove it. The surgeon said yes, but you have an aggressive form of cancer and it's probably spread to your lymph nodes, your liver and your other major organs so you don't have long to live, and that I'd better get my affairs in order. I told him I've lived a full and happy life, have no regrets and have even gotten to meet my first grandchild. Then I asked him when we could schedule my surgery. I left his office and went to a restaurant where my son was the manager. I sat at a table and waited for him. While I waited, I called everyone I knew except for my husband who I wanted to see face to face.

A week later I had surgery to remove 12 inches of my colon and 17 lymph nodes. All of the nodes were cancer free but the surgeon found a mass on my pancreas and felt it would be too risky to remove it at that time. I was given the diagnosis of Stage III cancer of the right ascending colon.

In late October I was sent to The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA for an endoscopic biopsy of the mass on the pancreas. The results indicated colon cancer which had probably spread through the vein running through the bowel.

I was then sent to Dr. A. James Moser at UPMC who is the pancreatic cancer specialist even though it wasn’t pancreatic cancer. After meeting with him, we decided I would do chemotherapy to shrink the cancer on the pancreas and then a second surgery. That surgery is called The Whipple Procedure and is incredibly difficult. It would be anywhere from six to 14 hours in length and could even result in me dying on the operating table. Still, it was my best option for survival so we took it.

Because my options were considered limited, I was accepted into a clinical trial for Xeloda pills at 3000mg per day for 14 days. By day 12 I couldn’t remember whether I had eaten or had anything to drink, and was sleeping 24 hours a day. I started throwing up and could no longer stand. My legs burned and cramped. My husband drove me to the emergency room where I was admitted.

It turns out that without food and water in the stomach, Xeloda became toxic and destroyed the inner lining of my stomach and gut. The doctors told my husband that I probably wouldn’t leave the hospital. I threw up constantly and also had diarrhea. They didn’t know what was wrong.

Finally, someone from the Arnold Palmer Cancer Center in Greensburg, PA, saw my name on the hospital list and recognized it because I had scheduled an appointment to meet with their doctors. I was in a dream like state the entire time I was in the hospital. I hallucinated and the nurses even found me walking the halls once. Finally, I got better and was released. No one realized how very close I came to dying except for my husband. The next day my parents took me to see Dr. Viverette at the Arnold Palmer Cancer Center. I lost 10 pounds during the time in the hospital. No food or liquids by mouth for 11 days.

Because I was still so sick, I didn’t start chemo (Folfox regimen) until the middle of January. It would be one week on and one week off. I did 10 rounds of chemo and by the end of May had lost 30 pounds.

During this time I had been going in for PET scans which showed that the cancer was shrinking. Dr. Moser scheduled my surgery for July 25, 2008; a few days after my 46th birthday. I remember going into the pre-op area and my husband accompanying me. I even remember the anesthesiologist putting in two needles in my back but I don’t remember anything until I woke up five days later! Seems I stopped breathing in the recovery room after the surgery. If the nurse hadn’t come back in to check on me I would have died. They rushed me to ICU where I was put on a ventilator. My husband says I was in a coma but I don’t know.

After I woke up and was breathing on my own, Dr. Moser came in to my room and told me that I got what I wished for. I asked what that was. He said God had given me a miracle because when he did the surgery he didn’t find any cancer anywhere. He saw where cancer had been because it looked like a burnt-off charcoal substance. He cleaned everything and sewed me back up.

In the past year I’ve had three PET scans and blood work done. CEA results have all been well under the normal range; 0.3 – 0.7 with nothing higher. The July 2009 PET scan showed lymph node activity in the chest and abdominal cavity. I told my oncologist that I would humor him by going back on chemo but I wasn’t about to tell God that he didn’t do a miracle on me. So I started back on chemo and three months later had another PET scan which was clear. March 2010’s PET scan was also clear. God is good and I believe I have been healed.

My parents have both had polyps removed during routine colonoscopies. Because of my cancer diagnosis, my younger sister has underwent colonoscopy procedures and had precancerous polyps removed. Her doctors suggested she undergo a hemicolectomy because she had a very aggressive type of precancerous polyps in her appendix and colon and, since most hereditary colon cancer is on the right side, they did it to avoid any further issues there. She went through the surgery in February. My younger brother has not gotten a colonoscopy yet. We’re working on him.

My mother’s youngest sister died of colon cancer in 1983, at age 29. Even though we have a family history of colon cancer, the genetic tests on my tumor cells showed I had three out of four of the markers for Lynch Syndrome. Also, from what Johns Hopkins University Hospital doctors have told us, even though I don't have the mutated genes that they currently check for, it doesn’t mean that we do not have a hereditary syndrome; many times a gene is not found since they currently only check for four. We may have something that they have not found yet. Even so, I will insist that my sons start having routine colonoscopies at the age of 35 which is 10 years before my age when I was diagnosed. At the end of July I will turn 48.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yep, it's that day of the week again!

It's the middle of the week and I don't feel like going back to work this week. The bossman has been crabby as heck and I'm feeling lazy. Just want some time to myself and don't feel like going in. Wishing I had that computer program where you link two computers together from different sites. I could do all my work from home instead of having to drive the 20+ miles to work.

Hubs brought home pizza for dinner last night. My personal opinion is that Pizza Hut has the best pizza! I like a sauce that's somewhat sweet and that you can taste the seasonings plus I love a thick crust. Yum. He text me to ask if I'd like to eat Chinese food tonight. Of course the answer was yes. Anytime that I don't have to cook is fine with me!

What's with the weather here? It's downright cold! The furnace has come back on and is running day and night! Brr! I'm having to wear sweaters and polar fleece jackets again. Looking forward to warm weather. It can't come back soon enough for me!

I ordered a DAR member-for-member pin last week. Should be arriving any day now. Excited about my new pin. Also, can't wait for my chapter to give me my past regent pin to put on my ribbon. Currently I wear the regent pin which belongs to our chapter. As soon as my term is over (June meeting) I'll pin it on our incoming chapter regent. I'm glad to be stepping down. I like the idea that other members will have a chance to be an officer within the chapter.

Not much going on these days. Everyone keeps asking how I'm doing and I know I blogged about that topic some time ago. I'm good. I don't expect that to change. Stop asking. It's monotonous to talk about.

My granddaughter will be turning three on May 15! Very excited! Chrystal said she and Joe are looking for a swing set for the kids. Jassmine keeps telling them she wants a swing set. I'm looking. They don't want a metal one so that only leaves wood. I'd love to be able to find a used set. If anyone knows of someone who has a playset to get rid of please contact me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why Doesn't Colon Cancer Rate As High As Breast Cancer?


I don't understand it. It seems so hip to be a Breast Cancer survivor but when you tell someone you are a Colon Cancer survivor it's like you haven't suffered or something because you've only lost your colon and not your breasts.

Colon Cancer kills more people each year than Breast Cancer so why doesn't it get the same respect? Why is it that more people, and businesses, donate money towards Breast Cancer research?

I'm watching tv tonight and what do I see? KFC now has pink buckets of chicken that they're selling and donating a portion of the proceeds of each bucket to the Susan G Komen Foundation.

Okay, I dig pink and I've even donated to Breast Cancer research but since I was diagnosed with Stage Three Colon Cancer in 2007, at age 45, I feel very slighted that MY cancer doesn't invoke a sense of urgency among people. Women worry more about getting Breast Cancer when their chances of getting Colon Cancer are much higher.

Everyone sells something in pink offering a percentage of funds toward Breast Cancer research. I want to see businesses selling things in blue for Colon Cancer research! Men and women get Colon Cancer! It hits people of all ages and races.

Please don't think I'm negating what Breast Cancer patients have gone through. Cancer sucks all the way around. I just wish that other cancers were given the same respect and research opportunities.

Be hip! Donate to Colon Cancer research! One day we may live in a world without cancer. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Monday, April 12, 2010

113th PSSDAR State Conference

Mom and I just got back from Canonsburg, PA where we attended the 113th Pennsylvania Society Daughters of the American Revolution State Conference.

We had a really good time. We worked the Lost and Found table and everyone who came past us had something funny to say! haha Fourteen members of our chapter came to conference. I made sure we all got together for a group photo. We were lucky enough to be able to get the President General (Mrs. Calvin) and our State Regent (Miss Snedaker) in the group photo. I am so excited about that! Can't wait till my photos come in.

Eleven of my chapter members stuck around to hear me read my regent's report at the business session on Saturday morning. It's coming up to the end of my term as chapter regent. We hold chapter elections at our meeting on April 17 and our new officers will be installed at June's meeting.

I've really enjoyed being chapter regent. I've had a really good group of ladies to work with.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's All Good!

My latest PET scan was done on March 8. Yesterday Phil and I met with Dr. Viverette to get my blood results and results of the PET scan.

We're sitting there for what seems like an eternity and finally Dr. V walks in and asks, "Are you still having periods?" "Why, yes, Dr. V, thanks so much for asking, really! This after you told me back in July that I would probably NOT have another period again! Well, someone thought it was funny and sprang one on me last month so yes, I'm still having periods." He thought I was mighty funny and started laughing! Then he said, "It's all good." At which Phil grabs my arm and squeezes so hard that I yelled, "You're giving me bruises!" Then he jumps up and yells, "YEAH!!" At this point I thought I would pass out and sat there with a stupid grin on my face. Something like DUH!

Turns out the only spot on the PET scan was my right ovary which is ovulating. Dang ovary. Stop it! Other than that, no cancer seen on the scan! Whoo hoo!

Friday I go in for a port flush then my next appointment is in three months for a check up and blood work, and then follow up in six months with another PET scan.

It's all good.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thinking of Mr. Rogers

I was just thinking about Mr. Rogers. When I lived in Virginia, I remember we only got three channels on the tv set. One of those was the PBS channel where I used to watch Mr. Rogers with my toddler. I also remember watching Mr. Rogers when I was a small child. I never knew where he was from or must not have paid any attention. On one episode Mr. Rogers was in Pittsburgh standing outside of the Civic Arena. It was such a coincidence because we were getting ready to move to the Pittsburgh area ourselves. I'd never even seen a picture of what it looked like. Here was Mr. Rogers walking around downtown Pittsburgh and I was watching. Now after living in western Pennsylvania for the past 24 years I am pretty familiar with the area. At least good enough to give out directions. LOL! Mr. Rogers passed away a while back. He was from Latrobe which is 13 miles from where we live. From what I understand what you saw on tv was just the way he was in real life. I thought of him today. Just thinking what a beautiful, sunny day it was outside in my neighborhood. Always when I hear the word neighborhood I think of Mr. Rogers. So Mr. Rogers, it's warming up but not nearly warm enough to just wear that zip up cardigan of yours and I think you may still need the boots for just a while longer. Those blue boat shoes of yours will have to wait. But the sunny day? I'm sure you are enjoying all the sunny days in heaven and thank you for sharing some of those with us here who think of you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's that Time of the Year Again!

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month! Oh, and just so you know, my blog template is the same color blue as the Colon Cancer ribbon!

As you know, I was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer at the age of 45. This is FIVE years before the suggested screening age that most doctors give.

I was given a pretty grim dose of reality when the doctors told me I didn't have long to live. The insurance company even gave me my own health care manager to deal with what they called Palliative Care (end of life stuff).

Colon Cancer is the SECOND leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. It is PREVENTABLE and TREATABLE. Here is a video put out by the Colon Cancer Association. Please take a look. Getting yourself screened could save your life!

Tell your doctor that Carol sent you!! :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vancouver Olympics & Knitting!

Phil and I have been glued to the tv since the Olympic winter games in Vancouver began. I love the ice dancing. Phil loves the speed skating. We both have enjoyed the skiiers but those competing on the slaloms scare me as do the bobsledders! I just can't watch. I start screaming when one crashes.

I came across an article the other day which said the knitted red mittens with the Canadian maple leaf and the Olympic logo were all the rage. In the past week I have been knitting up a storm myself. I finished a pair of socks for my granddaughter Jassmine plus a short cropped bolero sweater for her, then started on a pair of fingerless gloves for myself. I have one finished.

I have really enjoyed knitting again. I tried to knit during chemo but just didn't have the energy and concentration to stay involved. I had started a pair of socks for Jassie in September and worked on them from time to time on chemo days but never finished. The lack of energy plus intense hatred for the yarn did me in. I loved the colors of the yarn when I saw it online. It was hand spun and the spinner decided not to knit with it so I bought it from her. It had thick and thin spots to the yarn and was too difficult to knit with especially for a pair of socks. I ended up frogging. I may knit up a hat. Some pattern with big needles would probably work well.

The snow is getting to me. I'm so over winter. I keep thinking when will it end? That and the neighbor using his snowblower at 8 a.m. on a weekend just burns me, ya know?

Phil says the propane tank is almost empty. It's at 15 percent. We had it filled the first week of January so it's hard to believe we have to do it again. The last delivery was $1100 so I really hate having to buy more but we're out of firewood and need to heat the house somehow. We do have plug in, electric heaters but if the electricity goes out we're up the creek (so to speak).

Had a nice day today even after being woken up by the neighbor. Phil and I had dinner at Red Lobster. He had this enormous platter of lobster and shrimp alfredo while I had the crab cakes and rice. Then we had dessert. Yum!

I called my dad this morning to wish him a very happy 70th birthday. They had celebrated the night before with friends. Had dinner at Outback Steakhouse in Prince Frederick. Dad said his steak was really good. Getting hungry thinking about a good steak.

We have a canine first aid class in the afternoon tomorrow. Glad it will be indoors. Not sure if we will take a dog or not.

After dinner today we went to Barnes & Noble. Phil bought a video and some books. I bought two knitting magazines and a dayplanner book. Of course it's pink. :)

My regent's report for state conference is due tomorrow. I worked on it all weekend. Looking forward to mom going to conference with me this year. Should be fun!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Did I ever mention that I love to knit? The other day I was on Facebook chat with a girlfriend I went to high school with. She is also a knitter. We were discussing projects and she sent me a link to the pattern of a shawl she's been working on and has almost finished. I lamented that I seem to not have enough time to knit anymore. My excuse? Always on the computer! With that, she said I seriously need to back off the computer. So I did just that! Amazingly, I started a pair of socks for my granddaughter Jassmine at 8:00 that evening and finished them the next morning. Later that same day I finished the mate to that sock. Yesterday afternoon I found a pattern for a bolero, or cropped sweater, that I liked so I started on it. It, too, is for Jassmine. I have the back and fronts knit up and have started on one sleeve. I'm happy to say that backing off the computer has been really good for me and I plan to keep it up! I'll be putting up photos of the finished objects soon.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Please Help!

Dear Friends, please consider donating to help Maddie and Mike pay out of pocket expenses that insurance doesn't cover relating to treatment for Maddie's Breast Cancer.

Thanks, and God Bless!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Back Home

I drove to Maryland last Thursday to visit with my parents and accompany them to mom's visit to her doctor on Friday.

The drive was excrutiating for me. I hate to drive. I would much rather be a passenger. I have a hard time sitting still for a four hour drive and driving really does require that you sit in the driver's seat the entire time. No getting up and moving to the back of the car or look out the window at deer on the hillside or hawks in the sky. Who'd a thunk it?

So, I finally get there after a long, long drive {did I say that already?} and as soon as I walked in the door we had dinner. Yum. Something leftover from when my sister was up. Don't worry, it had been in the freezer.

Enjoyed a nice evening with mom, dad and my brother. Friday morning we got up for the drive into Baltimore for mom's surgical follow up visit. Lots of cars on too many different roads for me to remember how we got there. Did see Camden Yards from my car window. Finally we arrived at Mercy Hospital. Beautiful building. Nice people.

Nurse arrived to do all the necessary things and told mom she had good news. The pathology results had come back that mom's cancer was Stage Ia which is extremely good news. It means her cancer had not gone beyond the uterine lining. She won't need any further treatment beyond the hysterectomy she already endured. It was such a good feeling to be able to be there with my parents and share in the good news.

We had a nice lunch at the Double T Diner in Annapolis. Way too many menu choices. Later we had a nice meal of chili at home and then I drove back on Saturday morning. I arrived home at 4 p.m. and went straight for a nap. All that driving is so stressful and tiring.

It was great to see my husband and to be home. I missed my parents but there's nothing like sleeping on your own pillow and being in your own bed.

Sunday we went over to Phil's mother's house for dinner celebrating his brother Dave's birthday. Great meal and lots of leftovers. In fact, we just finished a meal of leftovers. Believe me, they are even better the second time around!

I plan to go in to work tomorrow morning then I have an appointment at the cancer center to get my port flushed. That has to be done every eight weeks.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Is happiness truly a state of being? Is it only in the mind?

Right now I don't feel the happiness I used to feel. It could be because I have not taken my meds for a few days. Not sure.

Maybe I want more from my life? What should I do to achieve it?

I've heard the saying that only you can give yourself happiness. I'm not sure about that. Being around fun people can make you happy even if only for a little while.

Why do some people do or say things to bring others down? Why cause an end to someone else's happiness? Why not choose to bring joy to those around you?

I think being happy is a choice. You can choose to see only gloom and doom or choose to see blue skies and beautiful clouds.

I choose to take my meds and be happy seeing the beauty around me and bringing joy to everyone I meet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm a blog slacker

Yep, that's me. Slacking off the blog.

I wasn't able to go visit mom after her surgery because PepBoys told me my Jeep needed new ball joints. I didn't have the money to put into getting work done on it but have an appointment tomorrow with Eastgate Auto. They're going to check out the entire suspension and let me know if there is anything wrong.

I'm hoping, and planning, to drive down to Maryland next Thursday to be able to go to mom's follow up appointment on Friday, then will come back on Saturday.

Phil and I went to the RV show in Pittsburgh this past Saturday. Got there a bit late but had a good time. Toured 15 RVs. Took lots of pictures. Saw a bunch I loved but they were all WAY too large; like 35 feet long! I'd love to find something with the perfect layout but less than 25 feet long. The one we have now is 28 feet long and it is too difficult to maneuver in and out of the driveway.

Thor and his sister Kimmie passed away this week. Two of our beagles. They were the last of Mountain Girl's puppies. They were 11 years old. Ancient for a beagle. Kimmie was beautiful. She looked just like her granddam Charity. Randy also lost three of his beagles this past week. One of them was his first field champion, Butch. It's been a tough year already.

It was a high of 40 degrees today. I saw a lot of snow melting off the roads and the ice is finally starting to melt off our roof.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mom's surgery was today

I woke up at 7:30 only to find that Phil was still in bed. I thought he had overslept and then realized he stayed home from work because he was just too sick to go in. I know the dogs had him up all night. I don't know how he keeps up with them.

So, I woke up early, went downstairs and brought in firewood to get the woodstove going again. I fixed myself a bowl of cereal and watched the fire in the woodstove.

I remembered that today was the day of mom's surgery and wondered how she was doing. I started texting her around 10:00 which is funny because I hate texts. LOL!

She went in to preop around 11:00 and was taken into surgery around 12:30. Greg sent me a text around 2:00 to say she was in recovery and that the surgeon had been in to say everything went as expected. He did find one tumor in the uterus which was the size of a quarter. Everything was sent out to pathology.

Kim said the nurse told her that mom was smiling in recovery and was not experiencing any pain. Wonderful! I felt very relieved because my mom has never had to undergo a major surgery and I worried that she would have alot of pain afterwards.

Dad called around 6:00 to say they were waiting for her to get into a room and then would be heading home for the night and going back tomorrow. I'll wait to hear more tomorrow. I told Phil I feel very relieved!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Perils of Wisdom

A friend termed my status messages on Facebook as, "Perils of Wisdom," and I thought about that for a minute until it really sank in. How truly insightful!

Sometimes the things I say or write about are little bits of wisdom mixed in with abstract thoughts or little perils to beware. They kind of have a read between the lines thing going on. That is so me.

I really liked the term and think I'll keep it. Thanks Lynette!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cheers to a Happy and Healthy 2010!

I don't really have anything funny or witty to write about but I wanted to thank everyone who has read my blog over the last year and shared in the ups and downs of my life.

Hoping and praying that 2010 will be a happy and healthy year for all of us.