Tuesday, August 09, 2016

My heart....it's breaking

I'm here to tell you....life is too short. Take that vacation. Spend time with the ones you love. Don't hold grudges. Don't waste time on drama or yearning for something better. Be happy. Before you know it, it's over. You turn around and they're gone.

My darling...my love...as corny as it sounds, my soulmate...has stage 4 colon cancer. It's essentially everywhere. I think I'm in shock. A month ago, he was still working...he mowed the yard. Today, he's lying on the sofa, pale,
weak but thankfully, pain-free thanks to Mr. Morphine. He calls them his "feelgood pills". More like "feelnothing". 
We got the diagnosis less than a week ago. It feels like months already. Sooooo many things to do, arrange, think about, plan. We had no plans other than I was supposed to go first. At least, that's the way I planned it. I don't really wanna be here without him.
We were so looking forward to his retirement. He was thisclose to being there. We were gonna travel. Or just stay here in our little bungalow and...enjoy it. Do nothing...or everything. Together. Now he can't retire. If he does, he loses his insurance. 
Rock, meet hard place.
If you take anything at all away from this, please....please....don't take those you love for granted because one day, they just....won't be there. Cherish every day...every moment. 

You're born, you blink...and it's over.

Thursday, March 03, 2016


Rah! Rah! Siss Boom Bah! I. Heart. TABOULI!

Tabouli: Tabbouleh is an Arabian vegetarian dish traditionally made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur.
I'm always up for trying new foodie-type things. I'll try just about anything...except bugs. I figure, (so far, anyway) there's enough great food in the world. Bugs are for Armageddon-type emergencies.

Anywho, a couple years ago, I was at One World (I can't get the damn link to work...google it, if you're that interested) in Peoria and decided to try an order of tabouli with my burger. Annnnd, I was hooked.
Of course, I came home and looked up the recipe and made it. Once. It's a real PITA to make...all that chopping. But on one of my rare trips to WalMart, I found  a mix that's aahhhhmazingly easy and GOOD, not to mention that it's...dare I say it? Healthy!
It's in their "international" food aisle...which is about 2 feet long. The last time I was there, I bought three boxes, because of course, now that I know they have it and will buy it frequently, they'll soon discontinue it. BUT....you can get it on Amazon, too! Ya hafta buy 6 boxes at a time, which is ok with me, but if you try it and don't like it, you've got 5 more boxes...that I'll gladly take off your hands! heh The mix calls for 1.5 C of cold water, 1/4 C lime or lemon juice (I use lime in the little lime-shaped bottle or fresh) and 1/4 C olive oil, but I like to add more of each. I think it's a little too dry with just what it calls for. Then you just let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so, salt and pepper to taste and BOOM! Done.

Now, I know it won't be for everyone. It has the consistency of...oh....coarse sand? Without the grit. But if you like tart, slightly herby-tasting coarse, ungritty sand, you'll love this. It's filling, has practically no fat, no cholesterol, reasonable carbs and fiber. LOTS of fiber. Trust me on this one. Ya might wanna skip your Metamucil on the day you try it.
It's good by itself, but I've added sliced grape tomatoes and chopped cukes...that's good. And I've added a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas or garbanzo beans for a little extra protein. That's good, too.
Probably green onions or scallions would be great....maybe some chopped carrots. Use your imagination. You could probably even make it a main-dish type salad by grilling a couple chicken breasts and chopping them up in it. 

Go ahead...try it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


And other random thoughts.
I'm not sure I remember how to write a coherent sentence that anybody will be interested in, let alone how to use Blogspot again. It's been over a year. We'll see what happens.
I'm not dead yet. In fact, I feel better than I have in...oh....probably two years, anyway. The breast is still not back to normal. The oncologist says that, at this point, rather than any infection, it's probably just (yea...just) a bad radiation injury and will probably take a loooong time to heal.
Enough about that. 
So. Obsessions. I feel safe in saying that we all have a few. Quirks. Idiosyncrasies. I probably have more than my share. Some of them are good. Fr'instance, I HAVE to brush my teeth every night before bed. And when I do, I can't have anything to eat or drink after, except water. Some of them are irritating. I HAVE to have a fan on when I sleep. I don't care if it's -30 below outside...the fan's on. I HAVE to have exactly 7 ice cubes in my water bottle filled with sparkling H2O when I take it out to the hot tub. Seven. Exactly. Or I feel like the earth will tilt off it's axis or something equally disastrous.

I've often wished that I could harness or control these...obsessions or quirks a little better. Like doing more "good" things and fewer "irritating" ones. Up until this point, I haven't had much luck.

We've had a few really nice days in the last month or so. So nice, in fact, that I've taken the dog for a walk a couple times. Er...rather, she's taken me for a "pull". Now, she's a damn chihuahua. But she dang-near pulls my shoulder out of the socket when we walk. I've tried everything that the dog whisperer has recommended. Nothing makes her stop. She'd make a damn good sled dog...if she weighed more than 9 pounds. 

We use a harness when we go for walkies. She hates it, but it doesn't choke her when she pulls so hard. She loves the walks though, so I have to sneak up on her, catch her and keep ahold of her while I put it on or else she wiggles loose and plants herself clear in the back of her crate, where I can't reach her. Talk about your obsessions.....evidently, humans aren't the only animals that are afflicted.

So, the last couple of days, I've gone by myself because she's gone into hiding when it's time. Now, I normally don't even like to walk...for exercise, anyway. I'll walk all over hell and back shopping, but to do it, just for the sake of  "because it's good for me"? Nah. It's boring. I can't just...meditate or..."go blank" like I do in the hot tub. And, up until I've lost so much weight, my feet and knees just wouldn't take much punishment. I've wondered to the Zigster if I could make myself start obsessing about walking and wouldn't that be great? But, of course, that couldn't ever happen, could it? 

Except....I think it has

It's really cold and blustery today. The wind is awful. I had no intention, whatsoever, of taking a walk. I went out for my usual daily hot tub soak....and I kept thinking about walking. And I kept thinking about it. 
So, here's the conversation in my head: 
"I've walked every day for the last 4. It'd be kind of a shame if I quit now, right?" 
"So WHAT? You don't LIKE to walk!" 
"Yea...I know...but...I've done it 4 times. Now it's like...a rule, yes?" 
"Noooo. It's not a rule unless YOU make it one."
"Yea, but..."
"FINE. Go ahead and walk. You aren't gonna like it, though."

And I didn't. Much. But...like....I had to do it.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Do I dare go there?

Yes. Yes, I'm going there. I just can't help myself.

Have you or a loved one been drugged, fondled or sexually assaulted by this man? If you have, call the law offices of Dewey, Cheetem and Howe NOW. We can help.

Now, before you villagers start coming after me with torches, let me be perfectly clear. I AM NOT condoning drugging, fondling or sexual assault. Period. I am NOT saying Bill Cosby is not guilty. I'm NOT saying he IS, either. I don't know.

What I do know is this...19...NINETEEN...women have accused him of one thing or another. Some as long as 40+ years ago. They're popping up nearly every day, now...Gloria Allred firmly plastered to most of their sides, patting and nodding sympathetically, the female version of Al Sharpton. And, of course, the civil suits are starting to multiply like rabbits.

I understand that women sometimes have a difficult time reporting rape or other sexual-type assaults. I understand the misplaced guilt they probably feel. I get it. I really do. (Don't ask me how I get it. It's none of your business, is it?) And, if any ONE of these accusations is proven to be true...well...as far as I'm concerned, castration isn't a severe enough punishment.

BUT. Every single one of these 19 women waited years to say anything? All of them? Statistically speaking, that sounds kind of....unlikely...to me. But then again, I hate math, so....

I normally go by the old adages, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I'm pretty damn sure it IS a duck." and "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Which both mean pretty much the same thing, I guess. But this one has me scratching my head.

He was/is a stinking rich celeb. Doncha suppose he had a pretty darned easy time gettin laid without drugging them? Or was that just some kinda...kink....of his? Necrophilia, perhaps?

I dunno. 'Tis a puzzlement.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

End of an era

As of December 1, I am officially "retired". 'Course, I haven't been back to work since August 6. Off on medical leave.

This breast cancer has turned into a huuuuge pain in my ass, as well as my boob. Early August the breast started turning red, swelling. I was visiting my daughter (out of state) and it started bothering me worse...and worse. Then I started having chest....not pain, exactly.....squeezing is how I described it. Went to the ER, wound up going into a deadly heart rhythm, was admitted to ICU for 4 days. Finally made it home and two days later, the incision in my breast broke open and drained a ton of crap. And this was five months after the surgery. And the wound has been open...ever since. We're now talking about hyperbaric treatments. It's not healing because the tissue was irradiated. Oh...and we still don't know what the heart thing was about....still working on it. Haven't had the "squeezies" or gone into the scary rhythm again...thankfully.

I damn near lost my sense of humor. Unfortunately, I never did lose my appetite. 

Aaaanywho, I (and any other county employee who was vested) was offered an early retirement package. It was so good, I couldn't turn it down. And the timing was perfect. I just don't know if I'd ever have been able to go back, health-wise.

So does this mean I'll blog more. Probably not. I just feel like....I don't have anything relevant to say. I may pop in...now and then...for a rant. heh Or, who knows? I might just start posting like crazy. Never can tell.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blah, blah.....blah

On the last day of radiation, I saw the doc. At that time, the nurse said, "I bet you'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel in two weeks."

It's been a week today. I'm still waiting to start feeling better.

The worst of the burn is starting to heal. I still have some incredibly tender spots where the skin is peeling away. But I do see progress there. The fatigue, though....well that's another story. There are days that I feel...as good as I did on my worst day BC (before cancer). That's not saying much. Then there are days like yesterday. I got up. I laid on the sofa. I went back to bed and took a nap. I laid on the sofa. I scrounged something to eat. I laid on the sofa. In other words, I did nothing.  And I was still exhausted. I hate that. 
There are those very rare days that I feel nearly....normal, though. Can't wait til I string a couple-three of those together.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A bad day

Just two more treatments. Just two more treatments. Just two more treatments....

I keep telling myself that. It's not helping.

Woke up to a blood-spotted nightgown. The area under my arm that was badly blistered broke open in the middle of the night and started bleeding. The area under my breast/on my chest wall is open, bleeding, seeping, oozing and is so painful I can hardly stand it. The doc said I can take a Norco every two hours....I'm eating them like jellybeans and it barely keeps the pain to a dull roar.

I'm gonna say something shocking. If I EVER get breast cancer again, I believe I'd have to think long and hard about doing radiation. It's been that bad. Yea, I know I'm a big pussy when it comes to pain, anyway. And I know that this may be saving my life. But this....nobody prepared me for this
I've tried every lotion and potion that the docs recommended. I've stalked out the breast cancer discussion boards to see what other women have had success with. I've tried skin-protecting sprays and gel pads. I've used lidocaine cream, aloe, silvadene. I lay in a dark bedroom, flat on my back, holding my breast up to keep skin from touching skin because it feels like I'm laying a flat iron on my skin when it does touch. Some things help...for a couple minutes.
I have to drug myself with a pain pill and a couple of Advil PM to get even a few hours of sleep. Even then, if I try to roll over in my sleep, my boob screams at me, "Nuh UH! If you can't sleep the whole night without moving, in one position, then you're not gonna sleep at ALL, sister!" It's really kinda bizarre. With the killer fatigue, you'd think I'd be able to sleep easily. Nope.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have found a doc that would have done a total mastectomy and just gotten it over with. I'd have been healed and on my way by now.
My surgeon, brilliant she may be....but she does not believe in excising any more normal breast tissue than absolutely necessary. She would not have done a mastectomy, even if that's what I wanted.

And I suppose I understand that. I'd understand it more if I was 30 years old and had a great body to begin with. But the thing is, I'm damn near 60 years old. My breast will never be "normal" again. It will always look dark and scarred from both the surgery and the radiation burns.  It will probably become hard and may become slightly deformed from the radiation. And it's not like my breast defines "me", anyway. I don't need to have breasts to make me....me.
I really thought that the last four or five weeks would have gone by fast. They haven't. I honestly feel like I've been doing this for months. I'm just so thankful that I was able to go to my granddaughter's graduation before it got really bad. If the graduation would have been this week, there's no way I could have made the trip. 

Two more treatments....just two more....and then three or four more weeks of healing. I hope.