Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well Shoot!

I tend to find that life is much easier to deal with if I ignore anything/anyone that bothers me.  I didn't say it was a healthy solution, but it generally works for me.  However, I don't usually ignore a medical condition.

After my second time with chemo, I noticed that my hands and especially my feet, were always tingling.  Kind of like when your feet fall asleep and then tingle as they come back to life.  Except it was constant.  My hands aren't so bad but my feet have always been quite noticeable.  Lately, they seem to be getting worse with hardly any feeling (yet I can definitely feel the constant tingling).  It's the hardest thing to describe.  They feel numb, yet I can feel almost constant pain in the balls of both feet and the constant tingle.  I was told it was called neuropathy.  I'd just as soon not know what it's called 'cause the less I know about it the better I like it.

Today I bought new slippers and when I tried them on, I scared myself.  I kept trying to cram my foot into a size that I know I always wear, trying to get them all the way on.  I suddenly realized they were on, I just couldn't tell.  I couldn't feel my toes.

Luckily, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.  I started doing some checking and found that quite a few people have what is called Chemo-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN).  I had no idea that neuropathy could get worse over the years, in fact, I expected it to get better.

And as for the slippers, I bought them, but I still can't tell if they fit.  I can't tell if they're too tight or too loose.  I wonder why this is happening all of a sudden. 

The doctor had better come up with a solution for this tomorrow as this is totally unacceptable.  I won't tolerate it!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy First Day of Fall!

Yes, it's my favorite post every year.  Welcome, first day of fall!

and, I just had to add this picture because, damn, that had to hurt!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not Quite Home...

Jake, along with his fellow soldiers, returned to the US about 2 weeks ago.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the happy return we had all been waiting for.  Jake has bad knees and they're keeping him in Seattle until they can figure out if he needs surgery to fix them.  Most of the soldiers from the 116th have all now returned to their families in Idaho, but not my son.

If he has surgery, he'll need physical therapy afterward so he could be in Seattle for a long time.  I was happy that on the spur of the moment, his wife decided to pack up the 2 girls and drive to Seattle yesterday to spend a day or two with him.  They all need this time together.  Jake posted on Facebook that they all had dinner in a food court together last night - and it was the best dinner he's ever had.  That made me happy.

If he stays in Seattle, here in a few weeks we'll all chip in and help send Heather and the girls to see him again.  Only this time we'll make sure they fly so they can have those 18 hours spent driving on this trip, together.

I'm so happy to have him back in the states, but so sad that he's stuck alone on a military base.  I know how hard this last year was for them all - it's time to be back together.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Written on Sept. 12, 2001...

The following was shared by a friend on Facebook.  We all remember what we were thinking in the days following 9/11/01 but he says it so well...

By LEONARD PITTS JR., Miami Herald

It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae - a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though - peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people - you, perhaps - think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.


Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.


You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.

Oh Roaming Gnome, Roaming Gnome, Wherefore Art Thou, Roaming Gnome?

Several years ago, before she moved up here to Hidden Springs, mom was trying to sell her house.  Some of her Bunco friends who are Catholic told her about burying a St. Joseph statue in her yard.  Supposedly that will help you sell. 

Becoming desperate to sell, because it's so hard to compete with the short sales in the area, I thought I'd look it up to find out how and where to "bury" St. Joseph.  I found something I wasn't prepared for.  You can actually buy St. Joseph in a friggin' kit.  Yep, he can be bought for anywhere from $1.39 (cheap plastic) to $27.89 (pewter).  Some of them are labeled "EcoJoe."  They're made of clay.  Seems kind of sacrilegious to call him Joe...  Anyway, who knew you could buy it in a kit?

Well, I don't have time to order St. Joseph in a kit so the closest thing I have on hand is my Roaming Gnome.  So, he went into a 30 cent garbage bag and Ival buried him on the farm.  I hope he can remember where he put him so we can dig him back up.

St. Joseph is supposed to be buried upside down.  I hope it doesn't break his pointy hat.

We only have a few days left.  We've got the house for sale by owner and are taking it off the market the end of September.  We'll try again next spring.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

One of My Favorite Songs...

Today is Rick's memorial service and he loved country music.  To me, this isn't a sad song, I love it and I think Rick would love it too.

I hope you're enjoying a Corona - here's to you old friend...

Somehow, I have a feeling Hank was there to greet you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fond Memories of an Old Friend...

About a year and a half ago, when Ival and I took our last cruise, I got to meet up with an old friend from high school before we left our port in Florida.  I hadn't seen Rick Dewey since 1974 when I graduated.  He was a year behind me in school, but with only about 50 kids in the whole high school, we were all good friends. 

They lived up at Terrace Lakes.  Rick had this boyish smile that always made you want to ask him what he was thinking.  I was happy to see that he still had that smile when we met up with him 36 years later.  It was almost like we had never missed a day of seeing each other.  The visit was easy and it was so nice to catch up.  What made me the happiest though, was how obvious it was that he loved his wife and how happy they were together.  He told us how he was estranged from his family, and that made me sad.  He had an older brother that drowned a few years after I graduated, but his father and a few siblings were still alive.  I didn't ask why, but not being close to his family was obviously very hard on him.

I got on Facebook the other morning and started reading all the new posts.  There was a status update on his page from his wife saying how sorry she was for his friends and family, but Rick had died the day before.  My brain went numb.  Rick was a contractor and I thought maybe he had been killed in an accident.  I sent a message to his wife and told her how incredibly sorry I was because I knew how much they loved each other.  She sent me a message back telling me that Rick had killed himself.

I still can't believe it.  I hate suicide.  My first husband did the same thing 34 years ago.  I just don't understand how people can do that to all the people that love them.  He seemed so happy, yet sometimes there can be pain so deep that you get very good at hiding it after having it for so long.  I'll never know what caused him to do it, but I'll certainly miss keeping up with him. 

My hope for Eileen is that she can someday find peace, keep the wonderful memories, and always know how much Rick loved her. 

I'm going to miss you friend.  Happy Trails...