Tuesday, July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021 Tuesday--8:15am

Good morning!

Yesterday I was at the clinic doing the pre-op lab work and then Leah and the boys stayed for a visit so I never got around to blogging.  When I have medical appointments on Mondays I will likely always have to switch to Tuesdays for the blog. 

Anyways, ever since the storm that blew in the Canadian geese they have been around every day because that lonely guy down the way in my building feeds them bread.

They're beautiful birds.  I like to visit them.  But I don't want them visiting me.  And it's not because they can be aggressive at times (which they can be--large birds who know it--generally not intimidated by humans) but because of the endless gross, slippery poop situation they leave in their wake.  

There was a pond right next to our parking lot where I worked one time...let's just say if you have never slipped and landed on a sea of goose poop you are fortunate.  The guys used to go out on breaks to spin their cars around in the parking lot in the middle of the night (yes, I worked graveyard shift)...sliding with delight on the slimy layer of poop.  Yes, there can be so much of it your tires have a hard time gripping the pavement.  Plus geese do not usually care to move for anybody or anything--and they were all up and wandering about again by morning--so you had wait for them to move to creepy crawl with occasionally slipping tires in order to get out of the parking lot to go home.  Car horns don't phase them, either.

You may remember the goose with the broken wing four years ago.  Yes, I put out water and some food sometimes...but that was an animal in crisis.  (Which was caught and brought to a farm to heal.)  I had to buy a scrubber brush to clean off the patio--every day.  She'd sit and drink water and poop at the same time--LOL!  So, you'll pardon me if I don't want eight of them pooping in the grass that McFamily has to walk across to visit me (so they don't have to wear masks or be exposed to the many possible covid germs in the building)--LOL!  


I have had a visitor I was excited to see.  Got a quick poor shot of a ground squirrel!  So happy to see one again.

There was a grown cottontail, too.  This one can certaily reach the marigolds--LOL!

Well, I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who has stopped by for kind words, well wishes and prayers.  New folks, too!!  And thanks to each of you who took the time to send a card or letter or private email!  I can't tell you how much it means to me in this stressful time.  Thanks so much!!

Tuesday was a pajama day, for sure.  I am getting in as many of them as I am able lately.  ;)

Wednesday was my pre-op visit with Dr. King.  It was her very first day (but she had been a nurse for years).  She was really nice--we chatted and laughed.  I definitely wouldn't mind seeing her if I couldn't get Dr. Kessler.  I have been getting really lucky with doctors lately.  ;)

Dagan stopped by after work with my old laptop (had not done anything to it yet so it was still good to go).  Oh, tried the new laptop cord and it still wouldn't charge and said 6%--plugged in.  Newer laptop, too.  Already had a different issue--must have gotten a lemon.  Microsoft Surface, I believe.  Anyways--all under warranty, I hope.  I think Dagan and Leah will end up sending it back for a replacement.  Microsoft wanted them to go through more testing--but I needed one that was working.  So I am back to the old problems with the old computer--LOL!  But it is working, at least.

My hours have been altered--due to falling asleep in the daylight hours and things like Annie barfing at 4am.  But it is good that I have been up way earlier than my normal hours because I have an 8:15am apartment inspection tomorrow and then have to be at the hospital at 7am on Thursday for the biopsy.  Whew!  My night owl self is all out of whack--LOL!

Starting on Thursday I was working on gathering writing supplies for Grandpa's desk again.  Leah had previously helped me with the two sizes of white envelopes in the bottom drawer when the drawer dividers first came.
We're going to have to change our Thursday Craft Nites because their schedule has changed.  Last week it was Friday night.  I had done a load of laundry, brought out trash, watered planters, and finally set up letters I owe in my padfolios (but haven't gotten much farther than that yet).  Leah came over and she was doing all kinds of things to save my hands.  (That girl should have wings, I tell you!)  She did the dead heads in the planters, vacuumed, made ice cubes, and made some chaffles I can reheat in the toaster.  She helped me put away all the colored envelopes I had gathered together from various spots.  (I know it doesn't look it but those ones on the right are cream colored.)
The two bottom drawers are deeper but not deep enough to even stand an envelope up.  The top two are even shallower.  We got in the kraft envelopes on the left side that night.  I filled the other slots with various printed stationery papers...
...and the top drawer, too.  Have room to spare even.  Good because I know I have some more stationery someplace...lol!
Even got the top fold-down section with the cubbies filled with writing paper and mostly cleaned up.  I may be very slow, but I keep plugging away.  Do as much as my hand joints and back will let me and then rest up for the next go-round--LOL!  I'm loving the desk!!
On Saturday I saved a bee that was drowning in the shallow water dish on the patio.  Tipped it into the planter and the bee climbed up the coleus, cleaned itself off, and fly away.  It was a big bumblebee--the pretty kind.  I may be really scared of them (and wasps), but I want to help the bees out and am glad to see them here at the flowers.

Leah said she didn't think I'd be up for a Gramma Day this weekend and she was right.  Saturday and Sunday--totally R&R.  Sunday was a pajama day, to be honest.

Then Monday I had the labwork done for pre-op.  Leah and the boys came in to visit afterwards for a while.  :)  Leah and Liam went out to water my planters.  Liam made a beeline for my new chair.
He watered for a very short while but it was too hot for him (90-something and thickly humid) so he headed inside.
Ian had made his beeline for their bookcase.  (I was going to say his bookcase, but now it is actually both his and Liam's.)  He was busy cutting out a monster he had previously drawn.
Liam went right over to see what big brother was up to, of course.
I looked up and that old guy had made his beeline over to my patio because he saw the boys go by with Leah from his apartment.  He had pencils for the boys--apparently remembered they don't get candy--but also had some kind of candy, too.  Leah politely took the two pencils. 
We decided to quarantine them and didn't tell the boys who were too busy to notice that guy was there talking to Mama or that he gave her anything--LOL!
Yes, I feel badly for the guy but I have to say he is most annoying because he has no social skills or boundaries, you know?  This is an entire apartment complex of old people (yes--me, too, even if I don't feel old inside) and I am sure many of them are very lonely...but they don't accost people minding their own business, you know?  And people say hi to kids or dogs but they don't hang around forever bothering them.  He needs a girlfriend or a guy to hang with--something--ROFL!  But I am not in the running and I don't like him bothering Leah and the boys.  Oh well.  Just glad Liam had already gone in because it was too hot.  ;)

I have been getting some really special artwork from the boys recently.  Liams "love you to pieces" heart on top.  And he keeps adding to his rainbow picture below it every time he is here--now it is earth and sky and meteors.
Ian had been into hand cutting out his art lately.  The bottom one is a person (Ian, I assume) with hearts all over him for me and above is the 12-eyed monster with 8 tentacles he cut out yesterday for my frig.
The boys love to play with my magnets and had quite a time with them yesterday.  I could use another set of them--LOL!

Leah took a picture of the geese crossing the road.  This happens quite often on the back streets here near me.  Most of them nest and hang out by the water a few blocks away from me.  
So much noisy construction may be driving them to find a more peaceful place to spend some time.

Oh--senior moment!  Now I can't remember what electrical surge caused Dagan and Leah's microwave to not have as much power?  A storm?  Can't remember.  Anyways, they have needed a new one for quite a while--pandemic and all put it on hold.  Their stove was having issues, too.
They finally were able to get new ones!
That microwave looks half the size of the old one--LOL!
So exciting to have appliances that work!

The park has this water puddle fountain that looks like a blast for the kids!  What better place to be when it is in the 90s?! 
Ian and...
Ian inside the fountain spray.
Leah and the boys also visited their great grandparents.  Leah's grandma had been working on this 1000 piece puzzle for ages and had gotten frustrated with the last bit of sky and quit a while back.  Ian and Leah finished it up for her and she was very happy!
So, that's it from Fargo for this past week.  I have the apartment inspection early tomorrow and then the biopsy early Thursday.  Leah is going to be with me for the surgery.  She'll stay with me for a while to make sure I'm all functional and everything.    

The covid test got moved to August 4th.  Better to have only one thing to deal with a day--LOL!  I think I already had changed that on here last time.  So many appointments and changes so quickly that day while I was chatting with you.  I had to double check at the clinic if I went for the covid test there or at the hospital next week--LOL!  Clinic.  Nice.  Much less busy than the hospital.

I've never had a covid test.  I'll let you know what the Q-tip up the nose is like, too--LOL!  

Hopefully I will sleep through the biopsy.  That's pretty likely as I know I won't get much sleep the next couple nights.  Fine with me.  I hope to show up yawning and not remember much afterwards.  ;)  Nobody likes surgery.  Well, I'm sure there's some masochist someplace who absolutely loves surgeries.  Never make blanket statements, right?  Never say never.  Never say always.  ;)

In the meantime--today--nothing but laundry.  Hallelujah!!  Every day I can just be home feels like a blessing these days.  

If I have appointments it can change my Monday blogging schedule.  My bladder surgery is on a Monday (Aug 9th) so I don't even know if I will be doing a regular blog on Tuesday that week.  Depends on how fast I recover, you know?  If I am not up to one of my normal (face it they are always long) posts I will try to at least give you a heads up that I am alive and kicking by Tuesday.  But this next week--ahh!  Only a quick covid test on Wednesday.  Whoohoo!  Love it!

Meanwhile--I look both ways before I put out any seed because the goose family can come running as fast as they can waddle from almost a block away--LOL!  And they don't even like bird seed much and act disappointed...but they force themselves to eat it, of course.  I do manage to find times of day I can put out a little seed for the rest of the critters at some point most days.  The geese need to leave and go back to their swimming supply of water several times a day.  ;)

Thanks for all your kindness.  I will be thinking of you all on Thursday.  Bless you!
"You belong.  Everywhere.  Yes, you--with all your history, anxiety, pain.  Yes, everywhere--in every culture, community, circumstance.  You belong in this body.  You belong in this very moment.  You belong in this breath...and this one.  You have always belonged."
Sebene Selassie

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021 Tuesday--6:30am

 Good early morning!

As soon as I said I hadn't seen any rabbits since last winter...

...there was a baby cottontail on the patio!  
What a cutie pie!
Looked too small to reach the flowers, but they can stretch quite a bit when they want to.  And where there is one rabbit...LOL!

So that may well be the flower munchers--cottontails!  I wish they would eat them up if they chew them off.  *sigh*

The news wasn't good this past week, but you know how I like to go chronologically.

I did have a Gramma Day with Ian on Tuesday...the day I saw the cottontail.  Ian played briefly with the new supplies...geometric shape stencils and a larger helix circle maker...
...but he seemed a bit tired, I think, from the tennis and golfing in the heat.  Watched some of his current favorite show (seems to change every time I see him-lol!) and we watched YouTube videos of baby birds sped up from eggs to leaving the nest.  Was a laid back Gramma Day.  :)

Wednesday I made soup.  Thursday I did laundry, hauled out trash, and Leah came in the evening.  She mostly worked on figuring out why my laptop is not charging.  It is at 6%...plugged in...and shuts down completely every so often so that I have to let it rest.  (Another reason to start blogging early besides the painful joints in my hands--lol!)  Anyways--Leah did online support, battery is good, apparently...so ordered a new charging cord.  Leah also cut my hair so I wouldn't look so straggly for the hospital.

Friday I had the MRI.  A strange experience--lol!  Earplugs & headphones--and they must have chosen "60s bubblegum music for the 70 year old" to play softly in my ears--ROFL!  A big plastic board of sorts was strapped on my belly and they put a bulb shaped thing in my left hand that I could squeeze if I wanted o-u-t.  There was a lot of "breathe in, breathe out, breathe in and hold your breath" while the machine made a variety of noises. One sounded like a maniac pounding crazily on a door.  Most were a series of odd clicking sounds.  Sometimes the table felt hot.  I kept my eyes closed and tried to relax as much as one can while following directions on when to hold your breath and not thinking about the fact you're in a tube inches from your face--lol!  Had an IV that shot dye in my arm at one point--didn't sting for long, but did at the beginning for a quick bit.  The entire experience took around half an hour.  Was not as bad as I expected...but I was really ready to be out of there by the end.  

Leah and the boys dropped me off at home.  Later Leah came over to water the planters for me and Liam asked to come with.  He seems to enjoy watering my planters with the red sprayer hose.
I was more exhausted by the MRI than I thought.  Fell asleep from 7:30-10:30pm!  And I just spent the weekend relaxing, resting my hands, and--Leah was right--I was too shot for a Gramma Day.

Yesterday was the new urologist and the results of the MRI.  Leah left the boys with Dagan and came in with me this time.  (Dagan needs to use up some of his vacation time and that's a good thing with everything going on with me, I guess--a silver lining?)

The urologist was a lady doctor and was very nice.  Not great news, though.  I have three small masses in my liver.  One looks benign, but the other two look different.  Could be the cancer has spread to my liver so I need to get a biopsy (needle in the stomach).  That's a separate procedure that will reveal if the cancer has metastasized.  The needle bit hasn't been set up yet, but will probably be soon.

Meanwhile, I need the tumor/mass scraped off my bladder.  Then they will be able to see whether it has gone into the wall, what kind of cancer it is, etc.  I will be put under for that one--hallelujah!  They may also fill my bladder with some medicine/chemical stuff for an hour afterwards (catheter) depending on what the cancer looks like.  They didn't say whether I would be awake for the super full bladder time or not.  Hope not, but what can you do.

Long run--worst case scenario--if the cancer turns out to be bad/inoperable and/or spreading...they may have to remove the bladder.  Don't even want to think about that, to be honest.

There will be more trips in for pre-op stuff.  That's it so far.

There are no conclusions until I have the surgeries as to what will need to be or be able to be done.

I am still just absorbing it all.

By the time Leah and I were leaving the hospital there was a sudden (totally unexpected by the weather folks and apps--0% chance of rain) thunderstorm with wild winds and lashing rain.  Just getting from the car to the front door of the building here I was totally soaked--LOL!  We need the rain and I actually wished it had lasted a lot longer.

It stirred up the Canadian geese who live a couple blocks away, I guess.  Look what the storm brought in--LOL!  
Might have been a family with nearly grown young ones.
Supposed to be in the 90s for another week yet.  Every day.  My new chair won't get a lot of use--LOL!  Too dang hot and the air is almost wet with humidity.  Oh well.  This, too, shall pass, right?

I have a few pics from Leah to share, too.

I was telling her how France was lending the US a miniature statue of liberty--and she told me that we have one here on one of the bridges (to Minnesota).  What?!  I didn't know that.

She took a picture of it.  You might have to enlarge to see her.  I'll be darned!

With the delta variant spreading more and more in the US it makes me wonder how much longer it will be safe to have our bubbles?  Here are the boys with Uncle Aaron.
Or for the boys to be able to go to the playground (only a recent addition that may be short lived)...
...or for Ian to be able to go to things like his tennis class with the kids a couple times a week.
Liam goes along to watch with Mama.  Here he is with his shades and a beef stick snack.
I just read that now they are saying that children over two and even those who have been vaccinated (over 12, I believe) should wear masks to school.  Well then public places probably, too, right?  

I am very worried about all the unvaccinated people being okay.

Well, let's end on a lighter note...
Leah sent me pictures of her hanging watermelons!  I've never seen this done before--LOL!
She put them in these mesh bags you can hang on the trellis.  :)
So cute!  Could help them not get all icky on the ground side, I guess.  Anyways, I love it!

Well, by next week I should have the dates and times for all these appointments finalized.  Surgery will be on August 9th, though, and I have my pre-op appointment with a doctor tomorrow.  The hospital seems to be just packed with people.  Maybe a lot of people are getting things done they have put off?  Who knows.  But they have been very busy when I've been in there lately.  There was hardly a place to sit down in the radiology department waiting room when I was there and I had to wait 40 minutes to be called for my CT scan.  We haven't been hit with delta much yet up here.  But we have less than 40% vaccinated in North Dakota last I heard...so it could go badly here pretty soon.

Anyways, stay safe all you wonderful people.  I appreciate every positive thought, prayer, encouraging comment, and good vibe sent my way.  I have been so lucky to have met the best people online over these years I have been blogging...and some new ones now, too.  I just hope I can manage to stay in touch once they eliminate the follow by email.  I don't want to lose you all!  But if I am not commenting quite as much lately even while I still can it is due to a combination of the painful hands, wonky eyes, and cancer-shock to be honest.  But I'll still be reading and posting and doing my best to keep up.  :)

Just got the call...pre-op appt tomorrow, lab pre-op 26th, and pre-op covid test Aug 4th,  Surgery on Aug 9th.  Different department to set up for needle in the stomach to biopsy the liver but it sounded like they would like to have that done before the bladder surgery so I will probably hear from them soon, too.  

I think today I desperately need a pajama day...calm and quiet.  Thinking healing thoughts. Cuddling with Annie.  Watching the birds and a good show or two.  That sounds really, really nice.  :) :) 

Bless you!!
"In the midst of gathering darkness, light becomes more evident."
Bonnie Bostrom

And right before I was going to hit post...
Okay, I am scheduled for the liver biopsy on the 29th at 7am.  Said it will take 4-5 hours!  That was a surprise.  It's more like when Dagan has heart caths and you aren't put totally under...but I'll be all groggy and need a ride she said.  For sure.  And since I was supposed to have my covid test that day she said to tell them about that and they can probably work it in while I am there for the biopsy so I don't have to come back or stick around.  Well, I should hope so.  

Okay....now....calm and quiet....calm and quiet....

Till next week.

Monday, July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021 Monday--11:45am

Good morning!
We had rain on Tuesday that broke the stretch of 90s--ahhh!  But I went to open the place up and my screen door was off the track--LOL!  Leah had done some enthusiatic sprayer cleaning when she and Liam watered on Saturday, I guess--ROFL! (Yes, I do have colored lights up all year round.)
Leah fixed it for me when she dropped off Costco groceries that day. (She needed a screw driver, so it wasn't just my bum hands--LOL!)

We had absolutely gorgeous days in the 70s for most of the rest of the week.  Leah dropped off CashWise groceries on Wednesday and decided that night would work better for her this week than Thursday night to come over for Craft Nite.  Not that we did any crafts once again--but we had a nice visit and she helped me with a couple of things I am unable to do right now.

Kept looking like we might get more rain off and on, but not that I saw.

Well, the new stainless steel litter pan works fine but Annie was used to that really high storage tub she had...so she backs up to pee.  Even buying the tray to put underneath--well, now I have to scrub and clean that too--LOL!  And the newish little trash can with the flip top--has decided it just doesn't want to flip half the time anymore.  (Was inexpensive.)  So this month Annie got an update.

I got a waste can that is meant for cat litter!
Has clips that hold the sides of the liner bag in place and a charcoal filter in the lid.
On the sides...
...well, the handle clips the top shut tight when you pull it upright.
AND...I bought a shield that I hoped would fit her litter box (different brand name) and it did!!

Life is good!  I will have less cleaning to do and less smell.  Yes, I might remove the tray from underneath now.  Could use it as a shoe/boot tray.  :)

Me--I got myself an Amazon Basics zero gravity patio chair and a generic tray that also fit!  I really lucked out on guesswork buying this month, that's for sure.
Being able to be more comfortable and get my feet up has gotten me out there even when it's been in the 80s...and I do not do well in the heat--LOL!

I am enjoying the flowers and the new chair so much even the sticky heat hasn't stopped me!
I think some bird is biting off marigolds at the base--both flowers and buds--and also picking petals off the geraniums.  The only newer birds are the yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds so they might be the flower picking culprits.  Who knows?
It's only a few of them, so it's not a problem so far.
The new better bird seed and mealworm treats have got everybody wound up, so it's probably my own fault, eh?  LOL!

I can't see my laptop screen outside, though.  Thought I could watch shows with my new ear buds--but that doesn't work.  So I am listening to audio books instead.  Right now I am listening to Greenlight.  :)

Gramma Day got cancelled on Sunday as Ian got invited over for a playdate to his best friend's house from virtual kindergarten--McKenzie!  Nice!  So he is probably coming over tomorrow afternoon for Gramma Day.

They opened the community room again here after over a year just so the usual group of ladies could have coffee together every morning...and just now in July we have an activity calendar again after 16 months.  Not much on it yet...not sure whether I will go down or not.  I never went to much before covid--LOL!  But I know a lot of people have really missed the socializing.  I always think of my mom.  Isolation was sheer misery for her.

I rewatched the previous season and then watched the final season of Bosch.  Finally finished Dalziel and Poscoe--11 seasons--had watched here and there for ages.  Am watching season two of Rebecka Martinsson--which will take me quite a while as it has subtitles and I can't always finish an episode with the wonky eyes, but it has been pretty good.  Watched the new season of Line of Duty and working my way through Monk again (always a delight).  Also have rented DVDs from Netflix the past few weeks: Promising Young Woman, Unstoppable, Minari, The Marksman, Chaos Walking, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Father, Nobody, and The Little Things.   Yes, I have been heavily into detective shows and crime dramas the past several years--LOL!

So--this coming week--hopefully a Gramma Day and a Craft Nite...and then the MRI on Friday.  I also have an appointment with this new urologist next Monday so I am not sure if or when I will be able to post that day.  If not--I'll post on Tuesday, just so you know.  :)

Meanwhile--Dagan has taken Ian with him golfing!  He is having such an exciting day!  This morning he already had his first tennis lesson!
Here he is having a treat of trail mix on the golf cart in the North Dakota wind.
I bet he will sleep well tonight!
Meanwhile--Liam is painting at home...also having a good time.  :)
Anyways, have a great week.  Chat again Monday (or maybe Tuesday).  Hoping to hear good news and thinking positive.  :) :)
"We must continually choose love in order to nourish our souls and drive away fear, just as we eat to nourish our bodies and drive away hunger."
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler