My blog is a way for me to share in the wonder of each day. I know there are others like me that due to medical issues have our days numbered and would like to make the most of them in a positive and gifting way for ourselves and for those around us.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

All I see is stormy skies today!

Well, this will be a fairly short blog today. This week we recieved information about my youngest 18 year old son who is temporarily living in Denver. He has just been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
He fell off a skate board and hit the back of his head in January. Apparently he had a bump that he thinks came from his fall. The bump didn't go away and, in fact,got larger. It was finally checked recently and the doctor decided to remove the lump. When he went in, he found it to be suspicious and there was more than he expected. He decided it would require a specialist to deal with it. In the meantime he had the piece he removed analized and it came back positive for melanoma.
My son had an MRI done yesterday (Wed) and today (Thr) he had a PET scan done. On Monday we will go up to Denver to the University Hospital for the consult and the diagnosis and plan of action. They already have him scheduled for Chemo on Tuesday in case it is contained where it is. If it has spread around his spinal column or into his skull or brain then I'm not sure what the plan or prognosis will be.
My son has been somewhat a wayward kid and had some troubles, but this is a huge thing for anyone to have to face, especially someone so young. Also, he has a 10 month old son to consider so he is facing some very large issues. Please keep him in your prayers. Also for me to have strength to deal with it. My system is tenuous at best and stress wears me out alot. I am planning on being there in what ever capacity is appropriate for the situation and to lend some support to him and my daughter.
Many years ago I lost my first son when he was only 22 months old and no one should have to hold their child, that last time, with no breath left and say goodbye. My daughter was only 5 when he died and it has had a large impact on her life ever since, including how she feels and fears for her own beautiful children.
She is a strong person though and has been such a wonderful support for me with all my stuff. She had to endure alot of stress trying to be a mom ,wife, daughter, and still try to support my husband too. She did great. When I was in the hospital for 3 months and was at deaths door for weeks, she maintained a running email dialog with just about everyone I have known or worked with or am related too. Everyone was so thankful to her for the day to day updates that she wrote, many times way late at night after staying with me at the hospital to give my husband a break and still caring for her own family as well.
Well, now that I've rambled on and sounded so pitiful, don't think that. I am doing pretty good for my own situation and we have to have high hopes for my sons also. He sure could use another chance at begining his life again, you know?
Hopefully next weeks blog will bear good tidings. A miracle wouldn't hurt either. I don't deserve to have all of them for me. I will gladly share.
Smile awhile and you will feel better for it. I did and I am.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fishing--Is that all there is? You betcha!

My husband and me on Pueblo Resevoir!

Just a note: In case you are wondering where my O2 hoses are, I never allow pictures to be taken of me with it on my face if I can help it. I'm not vain, but those air hoses are not me. They are a fact of my life but they are only nessesary tools of my days. I want my family/friends/and grandkids to remember the real me underneath those hoses and other tubing that may hang on me each day.
Yes, I know, lately I have lots to talk about when it comes to fishing. But that's because it's summer and it's definitely warm enough (if you call 98-101 degrees warm enough). We have gone fishing the last 3 weekends and we are planning on going out again. I am so pumped about getting out while I am feeling so energetic cause I never know when I'll have to sit it out again. As it is, I mostly sit while fishing and Rick (my husband) does all the carrying of gear and chairs and coolers, etc. I carry my O2 bottle, my fishing pole and my catch all bag. Then I just have a ball the rest of the time.

My husband knows how to take a break from the heat!
This last weekend, we took my father-in-law with us and my husbands co-worker out to the Pueblo Resevoir without the boat. We wisely left poor Myrtle home to bask in the air conditioned house as we sat out in the 101 degree sun and baked all day. Thank goodness for sunscreen and hats. Next time, though, I'm taking my huge beach unbrella and setting it up over my chair. I've done it before and it works wonderfully and lower's the temp by at least 5 degrees or more.

We saw a deer grazing along the river below the dam and she didn't mind us at all watching her. We watched and took pictures for several minutes before moving along and she just looked at us before getting back to her brunch.
Peaceful deer munching in the shade near a swimming hole below the resevoir dam!
My father-in-law is 79 and doing well. He loves to fish and we all have a grand time when he joins us. He and my husband really do enjoy spending time together which I think is so beneficial to both of them. The heat was pretty intense so he and I took refuge in the vehicle a few times to turn on the AC and get our core temps down just a mite before heading out into the Pueblo sun-bake oven again.

Mac showing us how it's done in Colorado!

My husband got a prize fish :>) when he caught a handsized bluegill. We just had to take a picture to show we didn't get skunked, just incase that was to be the only one. He did end up catching a couple more small ones and his co-worker beat us all with a 12 inch trout.

Blue Gill!

This last month or so my Dad has apparently been feeling extra fatigued but not nessesarily sick. He didn't mention it to anybody cause he couldn't quite place his finger on what he was feeling or why. Then after the family reunion camping trip over July 4th weekend, he just got over taken with fatigue and could hardly get out of bed in the morning. He slept for 24 hours straight, besides numerous naps each day. His appetite was totally gone and he couldn't even stand to drink water because it hit in his stomach like a rock. He had almost nothing to eat or drink for 5 days.

Finally he went to the ER after calling the doctor and was so weak he could hardly stand up. They filled him with IV fluids and took lots of blood tests and sent him home for the weekend. By last Monday, he was worse but he went to his doctors appointment anyway with his wife driving. It was a mystery to the doctor as well as the blood tests all came back negative. She took more blood tests the next day anyway after asking endless questions about his activities, etc.

She started him on an antibiotic, just in case, and told him to drink electrolyte fluids and energy drinks and keep nibbling on food. He kept throwing up everything he tried to keep down but his wife kept trying to get food and water down him and he eventually did keep some of it down.

Anyway, on last Friday, the mystery was solved. My dad has lime (lyme) disease from a tick bite he must have gotten in early June when he cleaned out a deceased neighbors shed for his family. That's not good, except at least now we know what the problem is. We were so worried and didn't know how much worse it would get. The doctor was just about to admit him to the hospital, but now after getting the results she let him stay home. He is already on the right medication and will hopefully have a full recovery. It will take some time though since he is almost 76 years old and was so weakened by this.

The doctor get's alot of credit for thinking of it because lime disease is usually not even thought of or tested for until alot of time has past, even a year or two, which makes the effects very much more serious and much more difficult to treat.

I guess that is a great positive note to leave this on today. Thank goodness for those insightful and caring doctors that keep on digging and checking in on their patients like she did. She called him at night to check on him because she cared. Her patients don't leave her mind just because she goes home at night. His condition worried her just like it would have if he had been her family. I really like that!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oldies but Goodies

My grandparents in the early nineteen hundreds.
Do you have any antique or old family pictures you'd like to share? Let's see them!

Today I am enjoying just being.
I got up with a little energy and my cousin and I decided to take a walk at Fountain Park near the river. We tried it yesterday with much less successful results. Sometimes what seems like a disaster may actually be a blessing.
Yesterday it finally started to cloud over and cool off in the late afternoon. My cousin and I packed up my oxygen, the bulldogge and my cousins yorky and away we went. The clouds seemed a little ominous but we decided a little sprinkle like we've had the last few days wouldn't hurt us none so we unpacked and got the excited dogs on their leashes.

My grandparents in Peryton Texas approximately 1960's. They raised 9 children, 2 of which were killed in a car accident, mentioned a little lower.

We didn't even get our feet off of the parking lot pavement when the clouds opened up and within 5 seconds, maybe 10, we were scrambling back in the vehicle and we were already drenched. The wind began to blow and in about 2 minutes the water was running in rivers in the gutter and the parking lot looked like a shallow lake.

My mother (on the left) and her sister as young women, about 1954-55, they were both killed in a car accident when I just turned 8. They both left husbands and three children each. I was the oldest and the youngest was 2 yrs old. The accident was caused by a drunk driver.

It was kinda hard to see out the windows but we decided to head home. As we were about to leave the parking lot I looked at a tall bush and saw what looked like a very much older man leaning into the bush trying to protect himself. The wind was blowing so hard I knew he was being buffeted and might fall and would surely be drenched to the skin. We backed up and I opened the window to wave him over. He started to flag us on but changed him mind and came as quickly as he could to us. He was holding a tiny little poodle that looked to be older too. I had my oxygen on and couldn't get out to help him but we made room in the back seat for both of them.We were very worried about him because his breathing was labored and his face was blue, almost purple. I offered my oxygen to him but he refused. We were able to drive him around to the other side of the park to his car. He assured us he was ok and he was on his way. We followed him aways until we lost him in the rain and traffic. I hope he made it home ok, but if we had left him, I'm not sure he would have made it at all. He was obviously chilled to the bone in just those few minutes in the rain and had probably tried to run or hurry back to his car before he stopped in the bush. He was not in good shape even when we got him to his car but you can't make a person do more if they insist they are ok.

My Dad in about 1968-70?, married again with 6 children and another together making our family "Yours, mine and ours!" (Note the camera in his hand. I come by the photobug honestly, so does my daughter).

Anyway, even though we didn't get to go for our walk, we felt like we needed to be there at that time to be of assistance to him and his little dog. Today's walk then seemed even better, when we walked in the cool early morning air and sunshine. The dogs were pooped when we got home and so were we. I took a good nap in the living room lounger quite awhile.

My Dad, My new mom, us 7 and 3 cousins camping, I'm the whiter haired 'cousin it' holding my baby brother, The cousins were the children of my aunt who died with my mother in the car accident.
I was a little more tired today on our walk and I have had a few little pangs in my chest. We (the doctor and I) are still trying to even out my 'INR' or coumadin level which is still a little low. We have been building it up much more slowly since last time when it got away from us and almost doubled what it should have been in just a few days. I think that is partly what helped create the bleeding episodes with my new hickman site recently. The doctor is being a lot more cautious this time thank goodness. That's the trouble every time I have to start or meet a new doctor in their office or in the hospital. They want to do things one way and when I let them know my body is extremely sensitive and won't react like average, they assume it can't be that bad and say things like 'even people who are allergic to such and such can take this medication' and sure enough, for me it's 'NOT'. I can't even think of moving or going anywhere else for my stuff or I'd have to start all over again and my body might not be so lucky as all the other 'oops' times in the last several years.

I haven't really mentioned it before but I've had several very serious 'life and death' episodes that were due to negligent, forgetful, or non listening doctors and technicians and some cases of too many doctors (chiefs) and not one top coordinator to keep track of what everyone else is doing except me. That usually is ok, except when I'm in a coma or in serious trouble. It's a good thing for my husband, daughter and cousin. Between them, they have jumped in a few times to get things going or straightened out when I wasn't capable. My memory isn't very good anymore, partly due to damage and meds and partly/mostly 'old age' (at least mentally) :^) . Families are wonderful, aren't they? By the way, don't get things too wrong, I have some of the best doctors in the country and some maybe in the world that I wouldn't trade for anything. But along the way...

I am anxious to get back to my painting soon. The summer is great for photography and I am really enjoying it. I am always taking pictures of things that I might want to paint sometime, including local plants and trees and even weeds. I love painting scenery and I think I'm best at that. I hope to post a few more of my paintings soon and then get some more done this fall and winter.

On Saturday, my husband and my father-inlaw and I are going fishing near and around the Pueblo resevoir. We hope to go in the early morning when it is still cool as it will probably reach into the ninety's in Pueblo later in the day. Hopefully I'll have a great fishing story to tell next time. Wish us luck!

Friday, July 11, 2008

And on and on it goes...

Today just 3/4 of a mile from my daughter's.

NOTE: Grass fire caused by a careless cigarette just outside Colorado Springs Airport and just a few miles from us and 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from my daughter's house. I hope they get it out before evening winds pick up since it is still travelling in their direction. Almost all of the fires in and around Colorado Springs are caused by cigarettes tossed out car windows. A good reason to stop smoking in my estimation. Not only do they cause each person and their family and friends lung damage or irritation but they cause counties and states many millions of dollars in damage.

Well.... the saga goes on. Last time when we talked I had my hickman replaced and dealt with one good episode of bleeding from the site. Are we done yet? Not hardly. Two days later, on Thursday I felt good and decided to run down to see my mother and father in laws and help with a few little things on their computer. Sounds easy, not too strenuous or stressful.

Stormy Day over Pikes Peak and Colo.Sprgs.
As I'm sitting there having a good ol time, my mother-in-law notices that I have blood running down under my arm sleeve. Oh, no, here we go again.
So, off we go to the next little town of Canon City, (they live in tiny Florence, Colo), to the small hospital there. I am once again packing in anything I can find to the site and applying pressure. We are told to fill out forms and then sit down in the waiting area. I asked if this would take long. "I don't know" is all she says, I asked if it would take less than 40 minutes but again she just said she didn't know. We sit down and talk to other's waiting and hear that one lady just told them she sat there for 5 hours. Well, I don't think so, I don't think I have that much blood.

Reflections at our Duck Pond!

So... we get back into the car and drive the 40 some miles to Pueblo where there is a real hospital and real ER people. Meantime I'm packing in whatever I can find. Of course when we walk into the ER and I have blood running and say I'm on bloodthinners, they take us right in, thank goodness. It takes awhile and more shots of epinepherin and ladicane and when that still leaks they use some tiny particles of what looks like cotton fluff you might pick off of your blanket, but it's all natural and it definitely works. Soon (3 hours soon), I'm all patched up and ready to head back to Florence.

Roses in my Front Yard!

Now of course, it's not advisable for me to drive home and my father-in-law shouldn't drive after dark. Besides, he has been driving me around all day, worried about me. So I call my daugahter in Colorado Springs, once again, to come to my rescue. She finds a babysitter for the two oldest ones and brings baby and meets us back in Florence. I had to leave my car but we get home safely and what a day it was, ..again!

Outside my front door!

Well, there was also the call I had to make to my husband who was camping in the hills with all my other family members. Every Fourth of July, we have a huge family camping trip and he was representing both of us since I can't go up in the altitude with my stuff. He always has wonderful activitites for the kids and loves to cook for anyone who comes up hungry. He said I am making him a nervous wreck with all the drama every time he tries to go hunting or camping. That's almost invariably when I have some major happening. Poor guy! I think he's almost afraid to go camping now for fear I'll give him a heart attack one of these days. Sorry, my husband!
I'm happy to report that things are looking good fnally and I'm even back on my bloodthinners and not leaking. I had to really take it easy this last week and not use my arm much at all. That's mainly why I haven't been on line, since I use those arm and shoulder muscles to type. What a pain it is to stay so still and it's really hard to remember not to lift an arm, especially when you are able, or not to lay on that side at night, or brush your teeth and eat left handed since it's on my right side. Kept me busy being inventive on doing things a different way, anyway. I always knew there would be a time that teaching my self to write and do things left handed when I was a teenager, would come in handy. I can even write left handed, upside down and backwards. You can even read if fairly well too. That takes practice but it's fun.
Well, after all that, any little things that come up are really no big deal. Are you seeing lot's of big deals that bug you each day? Just try doing everything with your off/weaker hand for a day and you'll find it's not so bad after all. Hey you all, thanks also for all your wonderful support and great comments. I'll be visiting you again soon although it may take a few days to catch up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Catching up

Say this in 10 seconds or less!
Yes, I know I'm late. I couldn't find the camera cord so I could download my "Funny Monday" picture I took. Is that a good excuse? Not really. Actually, my cousin came into town and is staying with me while she looks for a place of her own since she's moving here. Of course we have had to catch up until the very wee hours of the morning and then sleep in until the very late morning hours. Anyway, I'm back.
I had hoped to get this picture posted for "Silly? Monday". Looking for things we've kept well after their usefullness or any common sense would suggest. Since I've had this since the 1970's I thought it would fit the bill. (See how threadbare it is. It's almost see through in places). Remember when you could go into any McDonalds and recite this within I think it was 10 seconds and you could get a free coke or something. I can't remember all the details except that I can still recite this with gusto and well within the time limit. I talk fast as anyone I know can tell you, so this contest was no contest for me.

Wild Geese at the Pond!

Last Friday, I took my grandson to the park with Myrtle (before Myrtle went camping with my husband). We had a wonderful walk together and a a four year old has alot to share when he wants to. He noticed so many things and wanted to explore everything. It's was extremely hot and so we stopped under every tree we came to and watched the wile geese on the pond. I took some fun pictures, of course, and later he got to play on the playground equiptment for awhile. When we left we went to the store and got a treat to end the day just right.

He's my swinger!

Then, the next day I took my granddaughter to the nature center for a long walk and we both took our cameras and had ourselves a photoshoot. An almost seven year old has a good eye once she got used to looking through the lens and framing her subject. She does a great job too. I gave her one of my first little digital cameras awhile back and so she can take pictures to her hearts content. When her memory card ran out, she even took some with my big digital professional quality camera. We then, of course, had to be sure and go to the store and get a special treat just like little brother. It was another good day!

Me and my youngest grandson!

Yesterday we went to Denver and I finally got my Hickman line put back in and the nuisance PICC line removed. I am so happy. Everything went well until we left the hospital parking lot. I felt a coolness under my arm and of course it was blood. My new site was bleeding steadily. I tried to stop it with McDonalds napkins but no luck. So, I kept tight pressure on it and we headed back to the hospital. I'm glad we weren't already half way to Colorado Springs by then. The docs couldn't get it to stop at first either. They finally shot Epinephrin and Lidicaine around the site to make it stop. Finally I was all put back together and we had an uneventful trip home. I am sore today but that is to be expected and I can handle it fine. I'm just happy it's all over.

My husband came back from camping for a few hours on Sunday to switch vehicles and bring Myrtle home. She had a great time but she was homesick and cried for mama. He was also worried that when the other families showed up, Myrtle would follow some kids fishing and fall into the creek that is swollen with snow melt. She is still not afraid of water and in fact loves it. She jumped in to her neck deep already and should have gotten a shock from the literally ice cold dunking. Anyway, the current is really fast in some areas and she could be swept under. She is happy to be home I think and I am happy to have her.

Fledgling Robin or Sparrow

Gotta include this picture of a little fledgling robin or sparrow that was on our lawn last week. Myrtle found it first and sniffed her but didn't harm her. She's so gentle with other animals. Anyway, we left it alone and eventually it went under the bush to get out of the heat. I couldn't find it the next day so I hope it got it's wings under itself and back up into the nest.

Well, my shoulder is giving me fits, so guess I'd better leave this one a little shorter (bet you can deal with shorter for sure) and just point out that each day is a good day if we look for something to be happy about or to appreciate. My day has been (despite some frustrated moments) a really Good One! Hope your's was too.