Thursday, July 31, 2008
What this means is that if you are below 65 and poor and using Medicaid because you're disabled, you cant find physicians who will treat you. In our area of western Georgia, there is not one surgeon that will see a Medicaid patient. What this means is that if you are suffering and need surgery, you're screwed. In fact, you can die looking for a surgeon who would take your case.
There are a lot of folks who think we have the best medical system in the world. I tend to think that we're only great if we take care of the most fragile among us. So how we treat children (Our governor stopped providing children with prosthetics. If you were born with one leg, the State of Georgia will not provide you with a prosthetic one.) and how we treat the poor (The State of Georgia is allowing people to die, rather than ensure they get simple tests, minimal medical treatment, or appropriate mental health care.) and the elderly (Just try getting on the waiting list for elder services! You have to wait -- sometimes years -- for someone to die in order to get Meals on Wheels, or other elder services.). That sure says a lot about who our lawmakers think are important / worthy of treatment. Consider these kinds of things when you vote.
Monday I go back to work for the first time since September 19th. I've gotten a preview of what retirement might be like and I have to say I LIKE IT. But given that if I don't work, I probably get to live under a bridge, I guess I'll go back to work on Monday. Six more years until I get to do the real retirement thing.
I hope you and those you love are well this evening.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The power of this blog has been that I have gotten to see in a very special way the power of how my life and my family's life has touched other people. It amazes me how many people read this blog. People I've never met! People who wring something out of my life adventures, and who care for and about me in ways that I know and probably don't know. I am totally amazed by the people who write me, support me in countless ways -- through e-mails, prayers, phone calls, cards, goodies, books, all sorts of things (known and probably unknown). I have gotten cynical and sarcastic over the years, and yet in the last year I have seen, over and over, the good side of people. I see the most kind and astonishingly giving things done and it renews my spirit in humankind.
I see more than ever, that we are a web of people who ARE caring, and ARE giving and ARE spiritual and ARE generous. I have been the recipient of so much generous spirit....so much. My heart overflows from the generosity of spirit that has come into my life as a result of the people I interact with in the cyberworld and face-to-face. There are awful things happening in the world, but fundamentally, people are good. People are doing the best they can and are at their core caring and generous. Of course we all know exceptions to that, but I have been struck by the goodness and kindness in the world. In ways I could never expect, people have touched my life with goodness and generosity. It is humbling. It makes me want to be a better person. Remind me of this when I forget.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I rested today and just allowed myself to relax a bit -- really the first day since my last surgery on Wednesday. As the swelling goes down a bit, I get more excited that this surgery will help me out and be more comfortable as time goes by.
I read like a fiend today and am about to finish a book I confiscated from Jenn and Eric's bonus room last week. I already have a new book lined up to go when I finish this one. I am glad that I've recaptured my love of reading. It bothers me a bit that I no longer remember titles and authors like I used to, but I can enjoy the story and that's a pleasure after so many years of not really reading. It seems that when I got out of graduate school, I had read myself out and just couldn't bring myself to read much -- even for pleasure. That was a deep loss. Now I've revived it and enjoy speeding through books again. My memory has been clouded somehow by either chemo or being put to sleep so many times recently (or both). So, I'm not as quick as I used to be about rmembering plots or authors. It'll just have to do. The oncologist said it could take up to a year for the toxic effects of the chemo to work their way out of my system. So, maybe, I'll be back to myself. If not, I'm happy to be alive and doing as well as I am. I can accept that I may have lost a little in this battle, but gained my life.
Thanks to all who have e-mailed me or sent a donation to http://jenny3day.info/. Your kindheartedness is so refreshing. Blessings to all of you.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I'm thinking maybe we need to contact Wal-mart and see if they will allow us to solicit in a similar way to the Girl Scout cookie drive or those seeking homes for their puppies. Jenn is thinking we need to do a spaghetti supper. I think we can do both. Of course the method most commonly recommended is to e-mail everyone you've EVER known with information on how to do a donation. There is a link off my blog and many of my kind readers have already made generous donations. However, I alert you now that I'm likely to send everyone I ever knew an e-mail and be pretty overt about soliciting your help in fund raising. Go here. You are certainly welcome to go by and leave a donation of any size. Every dollar raised is a dollar I consider that is given to the research to find the cure for me, and the many women of sisterhood who come behind me. I recorded a special message yesterday at the event we went to, and it should come to me soon as e-mail. In it I say, that every dollar given is just as much for me, as it is for all the women who came before me and who come after me. I used the word "affliction," in my short spot and I kind of cringed inwardly at the use of that word. Somehow it seems archaic, like I'm talking about The Plague or Polio or something. Yet, upon reflection, breast cancer has definitely been an afliction in my life. It has meant pain, it has revised my body, it has stolen my peace of mind, it has created anxiety about the future, it has caused me great discomfort during treatment. Breast cancer has changed my whole life, and some of my anxiety revolves around the concept that it may well have been the diagnosis that will lead to my death. You can't escape that as a possibility. My treatments were aggressive and I hope that I will live long enough to earn back all the money I've paid into Social Security over a lifetime! But I won't know that. I just have to live like it is so, until I'm told it isn't so.
I feel like I need to hook up my old computer and use the e-mail guide inside it to get e-mail addy's from years and years of connections for that e-mail solicitation. I hate to have to get back into the older, more cranky computer though. I do need to get some more pictures transferred to the new computer though.
Peace to you and those you love. Many thanks to all who have already given. Please get your friends, family and colleagues at work to go to Jenn's page and make even a $1 donation. All dollars help in the fight to find a cure. It's not a cure for something like polio. It's a cure for lots and lots of diseases. Breast cancer as we know now, comes in lots and lots of varieties. My kind is more resistant to treatment, but fortunately my cancer was caught early. There are at LEAST nine kinds of cancer with many, many treatment approaches that are customized to those various kinds of breast cancer. All women (and men) who are afflicted with this terrible disease need to know that science is fighting for our lives.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Jenn went to a workshop on raising funds to meet her donation goal. Jewel had a poop and she was "on-call" for work, and so she had to leave the workshop. Clearly, however, she has to get some ideas for money-making and get them cooking SOON. She has two sponsors lined up but clearly needs more assistance getting up the funds.
The walk is probably good for the emotional part of this issue, but ultimately is the cold, hard cash that is needed to develop the right treatments for this terrible disease. Doctors, oncology nurses, and patients know at a deep level, that current treatments though more advanced than ever, are still barbarically primitive. Some treatments seem more like Medieval torture than some kind of medical "treatment." Those sisters who come after me, deserve to have a treatment that (a) works more reliably, and (b) isn't so awful to endure in order to have a chance at life. Some of the monies also go to local hospitals and providers of services to those in treatment. For instance my local hospital wants to develop a correllary to "Cardiac Rehab" and have a Cancer Rehab area. Exercise for those undergoing chemotherapy has to be modified. Many people undergoing treatment may also have a lot of self-consciousness about appearance, scars, lack of hair, lack of body parts, or radiation burns. A safe place to be engaged in positive re-building of the body sounds like a wonderful goal locally. I hope their proposal to Susan G. Komen will be funded.
Neither Jenn, nor I are smart about fund-raising. Anyone that has experience in how to go about doing this efficiently and effectively, we're open to ideas! PLEASE give us ideas!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The plastic surgeon that I consulted to do the surgery sent his colleague to meet with me. He never saw me the day of the surgery, and I suspect that this "resident" physician or some doc-in-training did the surgery while he just looked on. I don't remember him EVER saying, well I'm just going to stand around and watch while someone else logs some operating hours on you for training purposes. That seems like something he might have mentioned.
BUT the anesthesiology people were awesome, truly awesome yesterday and they had me awake and alert very shortly after the surgery. Much better than other operations in the past. No nausea. The excision area seems a little tight and hurts some, but not really awfully bad. I took meds for pain all day yesterday, but since Jewel and I are hanging out today, I'm going to try and do nothing more strong than some Advil or Tylenol so that I have as much brain power as possible and am not laying on the couch drooling while I'm supposed to be keeping her. I haven't seen the spot of the surgery yet. When Jenn gets home tonight I will get her to take the bandaging off. I'm just going to live in an optimistic way until and unless I hear any information to the reverse.
We were home by 11 am yesterday, I think. Much better at getting me in and out quickly than other procedures I've endured this last year. I was thankful that Jenn and Jewel were not spending the WHOLE day at the hospital with me. I went to bed as soon as we got to her house. She fed me and kept me company some, but I was pretty much a mental miniature yesterday because of the effects of the meds.
Gosh alive! I sure am glad this application has a spell-checker! Am doing OK, and expect to be home at my house tonight. A friend of Betty's is coming to help me keep Jewel tomorrow. That's going to be nice. Well, I'm going to look for the Advil now.
Hope you and yours are doing well. Peace.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The dirt here is very dark and very fine. They provide you with a faucet to wash your feet, and believe me they need it!
Will check back in on the blog as soon as it's feasible. I don't know how much I'll feel like moving (or not moving) my right arm for the next few days.
Monday, July 21, 2008
This is the saphire blue of the ocean. I've never been so far out in the ocean to see it before. It's a fantastic sight. One morning Eric and I saw some porpoises escorting the ship and it was awesome.
My beautiful daughter collects images of mermaids. In this underwater picture she has become one. She looks so serene and beautiful in this picture. I feel like I'm looking at an angel when I see this picture. She has surely been an angel to me and will be again on Wednesday when I go for one more procedure (a scar revision). It appears it was a good thing she decided to be a nurse, because yet again, I'm indebeted to her and her sweet hubby for their nursing care to come. 6:30 am we have to be at Crawford Long. Yuck.
Life is complicated. Worry is a choice. I'm not inviting cancer back into my life. I'm going to try to put this down and not worry about it anymore, but it's hard.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
This is Jewel and I on the Grand Cayman island. I thought we did pretty well.
This is a sunset that I captured. I think it turned out pretty good. I never did capture a sunrise, because I never managed to get up early enough and get dressed and out before sunrise. It was after all.....a vacation.
It turns out that the Bremen walking circuit is 0.75 mi around, so 9 circuits is 6 miles. When you look at it that way, it doesn't seem quite as super challenging. 9 circuits doesn't seem as long as 6 miles. Crazy, I know, but that's how I see it anyway.
Afterwards we went to an outdoor festival in Rockmart and I got a really cool sea grass basket for $35. If I'd bought it in Charleston, it would have been $135, but in Rockmart it was $35. It's really lovely too.
Hope you and yours had a good day.
Friday, July 18, 2008
After we do this we're running up to Rockmart for a cool craft fair. I'm looking forward to both efforts. I think it'll be fun. So.....hiking boots or regular shoes? Hummmmmm.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This is a photo from Cozumel. It was stunningly beautiful. We stopped for a photo here and then went swimming at a beautiful beach just down the road from here. I'm still looking for the other memory card. Once I find it (there are only 2 suitcases!) I'll post something more.
I went to Crawford Long today to do my pre-ops. I'm having a revision of one of the scars from one side of my mastectomies. On one side (right) I have a sensitive area of scar tissue that over the last several months has proved to be uncomfortable, consistently chaffed by my prosthetics bra, and generally hurts most of the time. We petitioned the insurance company (the plastic surgeon's office did that) to have a revision of the scar to remove nerve tissue (if the nerves aren't there, they can't hurt) and to flatten the area more so it doesn't bulge and cause so much trouble around the bra. I'm not excited about the prospect of another opportunity for someone to approach me with a scalpel, but I'm glad it could be squished in before school starts. I hope like heck that I can wear my prosthetics by the time school starts! Don't want to face the 9th grade horrors without boobs!
I got a forsythia bush at the Home Depot garden center that I like to visit, on the way home. I've been wanting some forsythia for a while. I tried to get some from freecycle but it didn't work out. So, I just bought one. I'm also trying to root some crepe myrtle. I don't know if I can. So far everything I've tried to root has died, but I keep trying. Ever since I've been under treatment, I want green things growing around me. Somehow it's an important affirmation.
Hope the adoption hearing that my friends A & R had today in Russia went well and that they'll soon be bringing home a 12-yo son to love. I've thought of them many times today. It'll be a huge change for the young man and A & R! Imagine starting school in small town America and not speaking the language at all. He's going to learn a LOT by immersion.
Feel well soon Randy. :(
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The cruise was interesting, fun, irritating and glorious, but not at the same time. I have hundreds of pictures and will post some when I've caught up on sleep some.
I see the oncologist for my six month check-up later today and go for pre-operative testing on Wednesday. I'm going to have a scar revision done surgically next week.
Busy, busy week. I'll try to get some stuff posted soon.
Friday, July 04, 2008
I'll post when and if possible, but most likely sometime after I return on the 13th. I'm taking the camera, and extra memory card and plan to take lots and lots of pix. I'm SO excited.
You all have a great week without me. I'll be drinking a few virgin drinks (not much alcohol allowed once you've had pancreatitus), trying not to gain too many of the pounds I've "lost" back, and generally being a bum on a ship with 2,600 other people. I want to see the shows. I want to see the ocean and not see the land. I want to win the lotto too, but ...... So anyway, you all have a nice week. Kari and Chrissy, call your g'ma a couple times this week and just chat her up a bit. She may or may not remember that most of her family is away, but I'd just feel better if you checked in on her. I'll check my cell phone messages once a day. Probably won't be able to do anything about anything, but I'll check the cell anyway. Just in case.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I've even buffed the callouses off my heels. I have everything from a sewing kit, to Immodium, camera, Geocaching information, my GPSr, flashlight, night clothes, shorts, tops, my prosthetic boobs, batteries, fun stuff for Liam, my Rx drugs, even some huge zip ties to close my small suitcase. I have extra baggies, nightlights, whiteboards for our doors, an alarm clock and various and sundry other items that may or may not be important.
My house has been cleaned by my domestic goddess so I'll come home to a nice, clean house.
Wonder how I could find other geocachers on board? I bet there will be some. You can't get 2,600 people together and not have a few. I've been struggling trying, trying, trying to load the damn waypoints into my GPSr and I'm too dang stupid. It makes me so MAD. There's only about 40 waypoints; 50 at the most that might that I need to input into the GPS receiver (GPSr), but I sure would like to load them from the computer and not by hand. Grrrrr.
Someone today noticed that I'd been losing weight! Coolies. When I had boobs, that was the first place I'd lose weight. Now that I don't have boobs, it appears that there's less of my a** appearing! That's GREAT!
MD Anderson sent me a BILL for my damn copies of my pathology report. I sent them $5 in cash when I sent them the release of damn information form. So of course the bill was for $6.38. Maybe by the time I get back from my cruise there will be my pathology report! I hope someone in Houston enjoys my damn $5 that I sent in trust that it would be used for copying charges. Grrrrr. At this point I have really bad feelings toward MDA. I'm up to the ES&D stage with their administrative procedures. They may have great docs, but the administrators are demonstrating a kind of stupid-drone mind-set that makes me a little nuts.
Hope you and all you love are well. I'm signing off to go see if I can get those waypoints into the GPSr for a while longer.