Sunday, August 29, 2021

August 29, 2021 Sunday--12:45pm


 I thought I would start this post today because of the big hour long cancer consultation with the oncologist tomorrow.  So glad Leah is coming with me.  :)

I figured that if I blog a day early I can take my time and not feel under a time crunch.  I also have another appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Regender, on Tuesday.  Leah's planning to be with me for that one, too.

Anyways, let's start out with something fun!  I saw this little plastic holder and knew I had to have one!

It came in different bright colors but I picked black in honor of you know who--LOL!  And what is it for?
It is a holder for ink sample vials so you can use them with a dip pen!
Holds the ink sample securely and you can lean your dip pen on the sleeping cat.  I know--silly!  But also, honestly, quite practical for someone such as I.  ;)

Okay--general stuff from last week:

First of all--thank you! thank you! thank you!  I have met the very best people through blogging and have the very best friends and family, too.  You all are wonderful, kind, supportive folks...just plain soul-lifting!  *love and hugs*

I didn't get any call from Dr. Regender about the team discussion of my case.  (Kind of glad because I don't really want to get into it with the doctors until I have to this coming week--lol!)

I forgot to mention I am also on a kind of DIY catherer effect--LOL!  Dr. Regender asked me to put myself on a pee schedule so that I am peeing before I really need to so I don't stretch out the bladder for a while yet.  Plus I am supposed to drink lots of I am spending a lot of time on the throne--LOL!  Annie is glad to see me acting normally in there.  She's back to waiting in the shower till I wash my hands and then she starts crying for me to pour a little glass of water in the shower for her to get a drink.  That is a new thing as of maybe a couple months ago.  (My own fault--I did it as a lark one time for her and she hasn't let me forget it.)

I got a robo call telling me that I am approved for a third vaccination shot (booster) as a vulnerable senior.  The website wasn't working, of course.  Didn't matter as I was just peeking and I wouldn't be due (8 months) until November.  Not sure I will be feeling up to tackling being sick for 6-8 weeks again.  I want to take it, of course, but we'll see what's going on with me by then.

Oh, and a show I mentioned a while back was actually Keeping Faith not Faith.  Was very good and had a decently wrapped up ending, too.

I have gotten more miraculous cancer cure comments on the blog (but I moderate them so they get deleted right off).  I even got an actual email for luxury human hair wigs!  Makes you wonder how much information Google sells to companies and what they sell.  Really creepy.

I worked all afternoon on cleaning up the planter boxes of all the dead flowers and leaves.  I hadn't done a good job since before the first surgery.  My lower back has been really sore for standing and bending since the surgeries so I had to do it "baby steps" style--one planter at a time.  I'd come in and rest my back for at least half an hour and then head out again.  After I got that done I had a longer break before I went out to do the watering with the hose.  Felt so good to have them looking pretty again.

I took out a huge load of trash on my cart to the dumpster and swung around to the garage to get another bag of meal worms.  Then I spent some glorious patio time listening to another hour of Greenlight audiobook by Matthew McConaughey--and getting a few rays.  Perfect weather after we got rain.  I called a girlfriend that night I've been out of touch with for a long time (she doesn't write back or use her email--but she reads my blog)--when the strong antibiotics I was on for the three days over the catheter removal kicked in!  Really bad diarrhea.  What timing, eh?!  I'm never on the phone anymore now that my mom died.  Let's just say Bonnie was willing to be hung up on and called back a few times--LOL!  We did get in a good catch-up chat.  (And the diarrhea was short lived and gone the next day--whew!)

Woke to actual gentle rain!!!  A perfect pajama day--cooler and dark.  Had the patio door open because there was just a light breeze and worked on letters.  I took a picture of the dead grass out along the sidewalk while the heavens were sweetly nurturing the grass and all the plants.
But later on in the day a full-fledged storm blew in with really wicked wind gusts!  Howled and beat against the building.  Was getting dark so I drew the blinds.  Next thing--in the middle of a rain sotrm--I hear a knocking on my patio door?!  Who would be knocking outside in a rainstorm when my blinds are closed?!  Dagan and Leah were out of town until Friday?  Knock-knock-knock-knock-knock...they were getting more impatient as I was trying to lower the footstool on my chair to go see.

So funny!  The wind had blown my new zero gravity chair almost flat and twisted it sideways till the back touched the patio glass--and the gusts were lifting the chair a bit and rattling it aginst the patio door--LOL!  No soaked human trying to get in--just a drenched me after I donned my robe and rushed out to move the chair far away from the glass--ROFL!  That wicked wind had me going there for a minute!  ;)

Woke up to gentle rain again.  I could see in the light of day that my coleus in the right hand planter had several branches snapped off.
 This time no storm came through, though.  When the rain ended I went out to survey the damage.  
Again, I had to do it in a few trips out there to gather and break up the branches (or is it fronds or something else?) to get them into a bag.
Might be hard to tell but the two planters on the right side of the patio lost more than half of their large light green and purple coleuses.
My "bushes" are gone on that side.  Oh well.  Now whatever wants to can rush in to fill in the gaps.
A full, jam-packed bag of coleus.  :(
The other two planters on the left hand side survived okay.
Also on Friday Katie came to clean in the afternoon.  Soooo nice to have a cleaning person again!  Even if it isn't regular yet because of everything going on with me and appointments and feeling like shit on a shingle.  She's such a nice woman.  I told her not to go near the stainless steel litter box because Annie has been having issues and there would be a new (her old style) litter box coming this weekend...and I apologized for the cat pee smell.  Luckily she has a few cats and we laughed about how wearing our masks made it a little less smelly--LOL!  Anyways, Katie will come back when I give her a call.  (I'm allowed to have her come every two weeks.).  Will depend on what the treatment plan is and all that.

I mentioned Annie has been having issues with pooping outside the box and barfing.  She also seemed to have a smellier and smellier cat box.  Had stopped burying anything (shortly after I got the new stainless steel litter box, I think, looking back).  Well, I wondered if my autistic cat hated the feel of metal on her feet?  And how was she getting pee outside of the box--even with the guard I also bought to fit on the special litter box?

Annie--always the shy cat--had not wanted to use the cat box around me (or anyone) ever.  But last week I was in the pantry doing something else and I was shocked that she jumped in the litter box and peed while I was right there.  We are talking years she has lived with me--so maybe she was trying to make a point?  Well, mystery solved.  Annie pees like a lion marking a tree.  No squatting for this girl.  She stands upright, lifts her tail high and sprays straight back...and she was hitting right where the guard meets the edge of the litter box.  No wonder there was some leakage on the backside of the box!  And then I found it had pooled up under the box on the tray I had undermeath the litter box...OMG!  No wonder it was getting stinkier!!  None on the floor at least--I rent!

Can't blame Annie for this, though.  Dagan and Leah had also use the big bins for their cats, so Annie had never had to worry about how she peed (not that she does now--LOL!)  Till I went and bought a fancy, never-have-to-buy-another-litter-box stainless steel litter box.  

So I got ahold of Leah.  Yes, she had already picked up another big storage tub but had not sawed a hole in the side yet.  (We had already suspected she needed to go back to what she was used to.)  Leah said she'd bring it over this weekend.  

And she did!  Yesterday!!
And I have to tell you (still makes me chuckle) that while I was scooping out the new/old litter box...Miss Too-Shy-To-Do-My-Business-When-You-Are-Looking-Or-Even-Might-Be-Able-To-Look-From-A-Distance Annie was sticking her nose inside the hole and trying to climb in--while I was scooping!!  And as soon as I was done she lion peed with me standing right there chuckling!  If that wasn't her way to tell me she was happy with the new storage bin I don't know what is--LOL!

Leah also b rought over some can holder racks she isn't using anymore for my pantry.  But we didn't get to putting them together yet.
Since I have to drink a lot more water (not normally much of a water drinker) Leah had me try some Zevia--and I love it!  Carbonated and in many flavors and no sugar.  (Love the root beer!)
The Zevia is what has helped me to drink lots of water lately and I need to keep doing that for a long time I would Zevia is going to be a part of my pantry for a while.  Can holders will help organize them.

I have one bigger basket yet to arrive from Amazon.  Been so much difficulty with the order that they offered cancellation...but I still wanted it.  May never come, who knows?  But I have some ways to organize lined up, anyways.
Leah also brought a small rake to rake the big spot where I had so many seed shells out there.  But it started raining again last night.  (Whoohoo!  We need this rain--I am thrilled--even if I lost most of a couple of my huge coleuses.) 
Today I went out and raked and sprinkled out some grass seed on that patch.  After all the rain we've been having the ugly patch looks much smaller.
Oh, and I did a couple loads of laundry yesterday and got almost everything put away, too.  So--a productive week for me, I guess.

Note: Feel free to skip the rest if you don't want to hear about cancer stuff.  :)

Leah and I talked about the meetings Monday and Tuesday.  Should be intersting.  Like I said, I doubt the doctors have read back in my chart to realize that I have had the bladder cancer, at least, for over a year and a half probably.  I was bleeding June of 2020 and you know I had to have had it for a while before I would end up with tons of blood in my urine.  Could even be around two years--which would coincide with all my crazy inflammation in my joints and leg swelling up.  That could have either been a reaction to cancer or left me vulnerable to getting way or the other.  And that is when I changed my diet so completely and drastically...which appears to have kept the cancer in check all this time.  I really believe I have been living with this for a good long time.

I don't want to start chemo or make any decisions until we do more scanning to see if I have cancer elsewhere.  That might change my opinion as to how I want to appraoach this.  If I have more, you know?

Otherwise, Dr. Regender said she got all the tumor in my bladder that she could visually see.  She showed me this stock drawing below of the types of bladder tumors and mine was the kind on the right--that grows into the muscle and can go through the muscle and spread to other organs. 
But if she got all she could see--she didn't go all the way through my bladder wall, obviously--maybe she got it all?  That would leave me with just the two smaller tumors in my humungous liver...different kind of cancer.  Again--why are they different if they expected the liver cancer to be spread from the bladder cancer?  How unusual is that to have two different kinds at once?  Nobody said the liver cancer was aggressive.  Is that kind slow growing?  I want to know the difference between them.  And before I make any decisions I want to know if I have any more somewhere else.  And if I do--what kind is that?  

I honestly believe this is normally an aggressive cancer I had in my bladder--but it wasn't behaving aggressively.  Only thing I changed was my diet back in June of 2019.  Going from living on carbs (could have been consuming thousands a day) to maybe 20-50--(some days higher, I wasn't counting)--has kept this aggressive cancer moving very slowly.  Not being fed much. 

So eating even less carbs and throwing some regular fasting in there--the cancer shouldn't be happy with that.  ;)   

Should be quite an interesting discussion tomorrow with a doctor I never met.  I want more information.  Dr. Regender mentioned wondering if the cancer had spread beyond my bladder (even if she did get all she could see) and she might want more imaging.  Fine.  That would be good.  They want to know if I have cancer elsewhere and want to do more imaging of the top half of my body.  Fine.  That would be good.  Need more information.  I really do want to know more before I agree to chemo.  I have all these other non-cancer issues I have lived with for a couple of decades.  Look how badly the vaccine effected me?  And that wasn't chemo poison--LOL! 

I keep "getting" to take things slowly and not panic--stay calm--no rush.  So I am trusting that.  Mainly because in my very bones I absolutely believe I have had the bladder cancer for like a year and a half or more already--and it didn't even spread to my liver (different kind).  So I have time to learn more and try things and do research, etc.  If I am wrong, I am wrong.  But I am trusting my guidance.

Dagan and Leah are totally behind me...whatever I decide.  They don't even like the idea of me taking chemo at all because they are afraid I won't survive it.  (I turly am not in the best physical condition and haven't been for a very long time--true.)  But I am not sure about chemo yet and haven't had any bad feelings about it.  But I never focused on it as a choice at first...or asked my guides.  I will trust my gut and trust GA/my guidance.  Whatever I decide along the way I have to truly believe in...for me.  My decisions to make.  Right now--just need more information.  ;)

Oh, so I did fast for 50 hours this past week.  Will be fasting off and on.  Not sure if I will get into a schedule with it or what--just getting used to it again.  I had done fasting in my younger days.  Went 10 days once, I remember.  This two day fast was no problem at all.  So that's good.

Lastly, guess what else I did this week?  I signed up for Wanderlust 2022!!  Early sign up--about half the price!  I know--sounds crazy as I have not been feeling up to doing the classes from 2021--LOL!  But I do so look forward to them arriving every week.  I print off the information and watch the videos and take notes--every week--even though they are all saved and mine forever on my computer--no, in the cloud, I think.  I signed up as an affirmation--to live long enough to get all these classes and to feel well enough to actually eventually DO them!  Yes--that could take me years--LOL! Thinking positive!

Well, it's gotten up to 80 degrees, so I might have to close up for a bit and put the air on for a while.  Even with a fan on me--well, the heat and I are not friends--lol!  I hope you have the best week.  Thanks so much everybody!  It means a lot for me to know of all the positives sent my way by all of you.

"Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace."
Howard Thurman 

Monday, August 23, 2021

August 23, 2021 Monday--10am

Good Morning.
Was another week that seemed like two...but I am here (bagless!) and on total R&R this week.  Endless sticky days in the 90s...but we finally got a really good steady rain with some thunder on Friday.  Still quite humid but the temps dropped down into the 70s so I've had the place opened up--so nice!
Leah was by every day.  Monday night I started to see little blood clots in the urine bag and it was turning darker.  So I messaged the surgeon's office on Tuesday to make sure that was normal.  She wrote back herself, which was nice.  She said that was normal and the poking pain was, too, for a lot of people.  Sorry.  Drink lots of water (which I have been) and see you Thursday.

Leah was by every day doing bird seed, etc, and checking on me.

By Wednesday the pee was almost a dark orangish brown and had lots of little blood clots.  I never slept all that night before the clinic visit.  I tried three times.

Thursday Leah had the boys wth her.  They came over early so Leah could help me with the leg bag.  Way more uncomfortable than the hospital bag as far as having to pull the straps so tight to keep it from sliding down your leg!  I'm glad I didn't bother with that for ten days--whew!  And I am so short that the tube was crimped no matter what I did.  I would have had to wear the bag around my ankle--lol!  

Wore a skirt that did go to my ankles and hobbled my way into the hospital clinic.  Was even more packed than the last time I was in there.  Leah and the boys were out in the car...lucky to even find a parking space.  I forgot my cell phone at home--never have done that before--but then I haven't had the boys here and a leg bag to focus on--LOL!

First thing was getting the catheter out...up close and personal with a nurse...sitting on a toilet that had a urine catcher tray under the  brim.  It reminded me of giving birth--you don't care who is down there looking or doing whatever--you just want it out--ROFL!  This took no time at all.  She filled me up with cool, clear water in a syringe up the tube until I had to pee and in one swift movement she deflated the bulb thingie and slipped it right out.  Didn't hurt a bit and I felt like dancing!  Oddly--no blood and clear water.  Nice! 

 I was warned I could have bleeding off and on for 6-8 weeks while I heal but have have very little so far at all.  But then I went a week after surgery before I had blood, so who knows?

Next I waited for Dr. Regender (the surgeon) to get her verdict.  She got Leah on the phone so she could hear.  That was nice of Dr Regender to think of that...but then you know it is because they figure you need the moral I was prepared for the worst...or so I thought.

She said the cancer had gone into the wall or the muscle.  She had gotten as much as she could.  But that is why they wanted me on the catheter for the ten days--so as not to stretch out the bladder.  (I suppose--after you have dug into the muscle wall that is probably why she didn't fill my bladder for an hour with the chemo liquid stuff, either.)

She said it was an agressive cancer (made a point of that fact) and they don't know for sure if it had made it through the bladder wall (into other organs)--but she wanted them to check to see if it had spread anywhere else.  I already had a CTScan set up for the 13th for my lungs, lymph nodes, etc.  She was thinking they would probably want me to have chemo first and then my bladder removed down at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  We lost Leah on the phone (the boys had been noisy and she had put herself on mute--before she could get to the phone Dr Regender hung up because she didn't answer).  Dr Regender said they have a tumor/cancer team and asked my permission for them to discuss me at their weekly meetings.  Of course.  She knew I was scheduled for the oncologist on the 30th and now I'll see her again on the 31st, too. Said she'd probably call me this week if they discuss me at the team meeting.

Then I went to the lab for a blood draw.  I could have waited, but I just wanted to get it over with as long as I was there.  Found a phone to call Leah on my way to let her know I would be a while yet.  The lab/xray waiting room was so full that there was only one chair left right next to a young woman wearing her mask under her nose.  No social distancing at all--couldn't--too many people.  They make everyone wear a mask so you see the ones with the masks worn under their noses in protest--often pulling them down completely once in a while.

Anyways, waiting for the lab for 35 minutes gave me some time to kind of numbly sit there and ponder what she said.  Her fear of the cancer aggressively gobbling up my innards and needing my bladder to be removed soon...well, that doesn't make sense to me.  I had bleeding over a year ago.  I have had this for a long time.  Obviously over a year now.  And it is a different cancer than in my liver.  So we don't know if it spread anywhere else yet until more testing, but if it was so agressive why are there two different cancers?  Why isn't it much worse after over a year?  (She probably doesn't know about the bleeding over a year ago with no infection/bacteria culture.)

And everything I have kept getting from GA is to take it slow and easy--stay calm--don't panic--one day at a time...

Not that I might not end up down in Mayo Clinic, but it didn't feel right, you know?

Anyways, I got dropped off at home...big hugs from Leah outside the car...we had our masks on.  Shouldn't have but I did need a hug.  I had decided that since there was so much exposure at three different areas of the hospital and clinic (connected and I was in both sides) that I would quarantine for a week or so.  I don't want to give the boys delta!  

Active covid cases in North Dakota have gone from 212 July 21st to 1,545 August 21st.

We got rain on Friday and I did laundry.  So happy to be able to walk around normally--LOL!  Now I can finally tell I am a bit raw inside from the surgery (and probably the catheter) but am doing well so far.  Very little blood and nice light colored urine.  Life is good.  

Knock on wood.

Saturday Dagan, Leah, and I had a video call confab about the cancer and covid and such.  I think they were afraid I was just going to do whatever the doctors said--but right away I told them about what makes no sense to me.  Having my bladder removed would be an absolutely totally last ditch thing for me to do.  I have been thinking that if I do the chemo (and have had no bad feelings about doing chemo) that maybe can get rid of both cancers?  Who knows?

We think that, since carbs/sugars feed cancer cells, that my changing my diet to very low carbs may have been keeping the "aggressive" cancer at bay.  Starving it, you know, by feeding it so little.  So between us we kind of came up with my own treatment plan.  I do plan to have chemo and it sounded like that was a given as an option from the doctors...and that they wanted to do that first regardless.  Beyond that--I plan to eat even less carbs or no carbs, continue to drink lots of water (maybe even a little less coffee--lol!), try to get some actual sun several times a week (for vit D and spirit), use the sauna regularly once they get it over here (this coming weekend or the next--whenever they can borrow a truck or van), do some fasting (also for cleansing and starving the cancer), and continue to do my sessions with Music To Disappear In and any other form of meditation/healing energy I can think of.  That's my own personal cancer plan.

I did google it and it is quite rare for people to have two different kinds of cancer at the same time.  Aren't I the lucky one--LOL!  I'll find out in September if I have any more, I guess--same or different.  Hope not...but nothing would totally surprise me anymore.

Anyways, I am home with Annie for a while.  McFamily left today through Friday to her grandparent's lake cabin.  Annie is happy so far with things feeling a lot more barfing or pooping outside the box since Thursday.  She's been very cuddly and purry.  :)   Quiet days.  

I always get excited when I see the ground squirrel.  (Not the best picture.)  It is also surviving.  Hasn't been trapped yet.  :)
We've been able to have the place opened up since the thunderstorms and steady rain so Annie is content to observe by the screen door.
And this weekend I got quite a surprise from Deb Jones!  
I know it looks blue in the photo but it is a beautiful teal color (a favorite color of mine).  Filled with wonderful, healing, comforting, encouraging words to wrap myself up in.  Thanks so much, Deb.  What a perfect gift!

Leah has these rotating photos of hers and mine on my smart TV.  She got some older pics from her aunt, I think, and those have been added into the rotation.  Every time I see pics of Leah when she was little (with her sister, Michal, in many of them) it just melts my heart.
Leah's the dark-haired angel on the left.  (Yes, her hair is naturally curly but she straightens it.)  Funny--seeing pics of her when she was little does the same thing to my heart as seeing my Dagan when he was just a tiny guy.  Love them both so much.

So, another eventful week.  This coming week will be quiet and calm.  May or may not get my sauna next weekend, but other than that--R&R time baby!  I didn't realize how exhausted I was.  I fell asleep 9pm till midnight last night and was right back to sleep at 12:30am till 9:30am!!  Oh, I needed that.  Was wonderful.  

Anyways, that's it for last week.  I plan to fast a couple of days this week...liquid fast..and delight in the "normal" days.  :)  Till next week...
"Love and hope are infinitely more powerful than hate and fury."
Heda Margolius Kovaly

Monday, August 16, 2021

August 16, 2021 Monday--9:45am

Good morning!
Leah took pictures of the patio planters for me.  You can see where all the bird activity and sunflower seed shells are killing the grass.  Tsk! Tsk!
But I love feeding the birds, so that's a part of it.  Unless I get in trouble with the office because of the shell problem...I'll keep feeding them and trying to toss it about in a wider area.
Leah took a shot of what it looks like from my new chair...since I don't want to sit out there with my big pee bag and it is too hot and sticky, anyways (90s). 
 Soon, I hope, I'll be able to spend some audio book time out there again.
I thought I loved my little plastic planters--LOL!  These big cedar ones are just amazing!

Meanwhile--my constant companion this week.
The big hospital urine bag is inside of this wastebasket while I sit in my chair.  But otherwise I carry the bag with me around the apartment and use the big plastic hook it has to hang it on the sides of drawers or wherever while I do what I can manage to do.

I do also carry the wastebasket over if I go sit at the kitchen table for any length of time.  The reason I need to tuck the bag away is not probably why you think--LOL!  It doesn't bother me to see it and I had planned to lay it on a clean towel...but Annie thinks this green hookie-type thingie on the tube is a dangly toy!
And the last thing I need is for Annie to bite a hole in the tube--ROFL!

What a week.  Thursday I go back to get this catheter out.  I can hardly wait!

Well, let's see...
Monday was the surgery.  Whatever intravenous pain meds they gave me afterwards in recovery lasted for hours--nice!  (Hasn't been bad since--except when I am moving around.)  Everyone was really great...up until the lady who helped me with my discharge.  Good Lord!  Complete ditz!  One of those people who starts saying or doing something and immediately forgets what she was saying or doing.  Everything takes twice as long because she takes you on many detours and side tracks--LOL!  It was funny at first.  Leah and I were rolling our eyes at each other over her head as she was trying to show me how to connect the catheter bag.

With my hands the way they are I can't grip and push well at all--and she was having a heck of a time with the connections.  I didn't see how I was going to switch back and forth every day from the big bag to the leg bag and I told her I just wanted to use the big bag and that I would put on the leg bag I can wear under my clothes when I went back to the clinic on the 19th.  She ignored me for a while--and Leah, too, who was also trying to tell her that I wasn't going to be leaving my apartment for the ten days and it would be easier to just have the big hospital bag on all the time than switch them back and forth and have to run to empty the small leg bag more often all day.  

Well, ditzy lady seemed very annoyed with me/us and she hooked up the big bag again.  Then I needed to get dressed.  She dumped my clothes on the bed and started trying to dress me.  I told her I could get my own clothes on--a few times--but she was, in her scatterbrained way, tugging and pulling and directing me.  I told her I could do it, Leah left so I could get dressed, but didn't take the hint and wouldn't leave.  (It's not rocket science--all it involved was putting the bag through the underpants and pants leg first--duh!--and she seemed to have more trouble figuring it out than I did.)  Let's just say she wasn't much help in the first place and while I was getting my pants pulled up--myself--she was grabbing up my bra and started to pull my gown off--and I told her to get out!  No more trying to tell her nicely.

We wondered if she had worked in a nursing home before this or what?  Couldn't read people, though, either.  I wasn't wobbly or listless or whatever.  I was managing quite well--but rushing wasn't helping.  Really strange woman.

Anyways, one of the really nice chatty ladies came to wheel me out.  I had been told we were going out a separate, non-public type exit and Leah had gone to move the car around.  (Another reason I didn't mind having the big bag for that short amount of time getting into the car and into my apartment where I could halfways hide it behind my shoulder bag--although I did run into one lady in the hallway coming home who seemed a little taken aback--ROFL!)  

As I am being wheeled out of my room--THEN ditzy lady stops us and asks if Dr so and so (not a name I had heard of even) had been in to talk to me.  We both told her no at the same time (which showed me the rest of the staff knew her well).  She kept asking me...and I told her that wasn't my doctor's name or anyone I had heard of and all my discharge papers were already given to me.  She seemed baffled...but she always did.  Glad to see the back of that one--but everyone else was wonderful.

The problem was...Ditzy lady never sent home the leg bag with me!  *sigh*  We had confused her too much, I guess.  But I didn't want to carry in this big pee bag into the clinic and waiting room when I have my appointment on Thursday.  So, I contacted the surgeon's office and asked if there was someplace I could get a leg I wanted to know if it was normal to have this sharp poking inside when I move around.  The surgeon wrote back to me (very nice lady)--apologized for my discharge and said Leah could pick up a leg bag at the clinic and, yes, it was normal to be very uncomfortable for a lot of people--sorry.

I had a catheter once after a sugery--but I was in bed the whole time--overnight--to keep you from having to get up to pee, you know?  But having to get up and walk around--and BEND--is a whole different animal.  At least when I stay still sometimes it is barely noticeable.  I will be so glad to get this thing out of me!  At least I can drink tons of water like they told me to and not have to get up to pee every five minutes--and I can sleep through the night, too--lol!  A little silver lining.

Oh, and the surgeon didn't fill my bladder with that chemo fluid for an hour, BTW...based on observation of the tumor.  So that sounds good, doesn't it?  Whoohoo!  But she said we will know more after the pathology report.  So much cannot be seen with the eye, of course.  She got all of the tumor she could visually see.  I'm keeping the catheter for ten days so I'm not stretching out the bladder and giving it time to heal.  Drinking tons of fluids also will help it heal--having lots of free-flowing water sloshing past, I guess.  I've been drinking more water than I ever have--LOL!

Meanwhile, Leah has been stopping by every day.  She has taken over any duties I would have to leave the apartment for--mail, trash, watering the planters, and feeding the birds.  She does little things for me that save me from having to get up while she is here--like filling my water, making ice cubes or coffee, etc.  

Have also had trouble with Annie barfing and pooping outside the box--for quite a while now--but more now since the surgeries.  We think she might be stressed out from her safe, quiet routine of just the two of us being all messed up for the last couple of months, actually.  Sensing something is wrong, you know?  Leah brought over the spot carpet cleaning machine for when she barfs (a few times a week).  And we are going to try going back to a big storage tub for a cat box and see if that helps, too.  I've always said Annie is an autistic cat.  She can only tolerate so much touching and she has to leave--even though she is still purring.  Chin scratches are more tolerated, but not much actual petting at all...yet she will tolerate brushing longer than I ever expected.  She wants to be close to me with my hand on her, but not much movement of my hand.  Change is very stressful for her, too.  She's been stressed since we took my bed (favorite hiding spot underneath) out of the bedroom--LOL!  So, we figured another big tub litter box (not expensive) would be worth a try.  The metal one might bother her feet since she is so into sensations--who knows?  What we do for love, eh?

Besides Leah caretaking me--Dagan hurt his elbow/arm playing badmiton last weekend.  So her brother Aaron has been over a lot helping with the boys.  Dagan ended up in the walk-in clinic early in the week--on muscle relaxers and rest.  So Leah's had her hands full with four of us (me, Dagan, and the boys)!

The saunas finally arrived over at McFamily's on Thursday!  Whoohoo!  Aaron helped Leah and they got theirs together that same day in the corner of their master bedroom!  Dagan and Ian were in there first.  We aren't going to worry about mine until after I get the catheter out.  They will have to borrow a vehicle to transport the pieces over here but Leah said it went together pretty easily.  

So what will Annie think when this corner in my bedroom has a sauna in it? 

 And I will go in and she will get shut out!  She doesn't even like it when I shut the bathroom door on her--LOL!  But she will at least be able to see me in the sauna with the glass door.  Oh, my little autistic cat.  

I'll have some pictures of their sauna next week.

I managed to do a load of clothes on Thursday.  (They still aren't all hung up and put away, but they're clean.)  On Friday I finally got the stack of cards and letters on my desk (14 of them--whoohoo!) all set up and organized in padfolios so they are next to my chair and easier for me to finally start answering. 

Leah came over Thursday night to make birthday invitations for Mr. Liam's 4th birthday party.  Be small--just family in the bubble.  I will probably try to make it. 

On Friday Leah took my glasses over for me to have the new lenses popped in!  I can see a little better far away I can read smaller print on the TV.  My 20/20 post-cataract surgery has altered.  Going nearsighted again?  New lenses can't fix the wonky eyes, but it helps otherwise.  :)

Leah also picked up the leg bag at the clinic and made a grocery trip to Costco on Friday.

My sleep had been totally messed up since the surgery...only sleeping 3-5 hours a night.  Not sure why.  Wasn't even able to nap for some reason...even if I was exhausted.  Finally was catching up with me by Saturday.  I took a 4 1/2 hour nap!  Still slept five hours that night, too, I think.

Yesterday I had a short visit with Leah and the boys!!  Told Ian and Liam all about how a catheter works and that after I get it out I will be able to come and visit at their house again or have them over here more.  I told them how confusing it was for Annie to have me standing and peeing like a boy--LOL!  Of course, I had to show them how I empty the bag--ROFL!  Yes, I am that kind of Gramma.  They were fascinated...and when I shook the end of the tube at the end..."That's how I pee!", they both exclaimed.  Educational visit to Gramma's!

Funny--last night both Leah and I collapsed and slept for 11 HOURS!  Both on the same night.  We both needed it, for sure.  Especially Leah.

With all the delta variant going around I think I am lucky that I had both my surgeries already.  Hospitals are filling up in state after state.  I'm not sure what it is like here in Fargo, but I know the hospital has been really busy when I was there both times.  

We've been back in the 90s again for a while.  Looks like it might cool off a bit by this coming weekend...if we get the possible rain.  They keep predicting rain now and then but it manages to go around us here in Fargo/Moorhead for some reason.  I'm so grateful that Leah has taken over planter duties for me while I am healing up.  She tried blasting some of the sunflower seed shells around on the lawn with the hose.    
The critters do love their sunflower seeds, but they sure do leave a mess.  Maybe over the winter the shells will decompose?  We're going to toss some grass seed out there off and on, too, to see if that helps.  (Birds will probably gobble that up that, too--lol!)

Anyways, that's about it from here this week.  I haven't been making many comments on blogs but I have been reading them all.  I'm still getting notifications via email--so far.  That is supposed to change any time now.  :(  I don't like change any more than Annie.  Well, probably much less bothered than Annie--LOL!  ;)

I'm slowly writing letters.  Well, I am slow to begin with-lol!  So, I am even more slowly writing letters.  ;)  It's taken me about four hours to write this.  Luckily it is a pretty good hands day today so far.  This past week I have watched some live mixed media workshops and a live bookbinding workshop.  Caught up on YT videos I follow.  Watched the two seasons of Missing on Acorn TV (must have been cancelled--left viewers hanging).  Am in the process of binge-watching Faith on Acorn TV.  Have several series to pick from on BritBox I want to start.  Lots to keep me busy while I think healing thoughts and rest and drink tons of water and pee in my chair--LOL!  

And every day I listen to the Music To Disappear In album by Raphael.  I am like Pavlov's dog to that album--as soon as I hear those first notes it takes me right back to the years of doing energy work (soul comfort) with people.  That album was how I learned to spiritually connect with GA (my guardian angel) on an energy level--and I played it for all my energywork sessions for years while I worked on people.  But I didn't work on myself.  Don't know how really.  So I play it every day and ask GA and Troops to work on me...and to please work on my healing while I sleep, too.  

I can't find my CD--could be out in the garage.  My friend, Lynnette, sent me a link on YouTube to the main song.  I found a playlist that plays the entire album and linked it above.  The album takes you on a kind of meditative journey.  I didn't realize how much my soul has missed this particular audio connection.  I ordered the CD on Amazon.  Can't go wrong with two of them if I do find the other copy.  ;)  It's from something like 1991--back when I was studying Healing Touch at St. Catherine's and doing energy work before I moved up here in 1999.  Come to find out Raphael made a Music To Disappear In II (number two).  I have never heard it but I ordered that CD, too.  And--speaking of--I have just put it on (the YT playlist) and it is lifting my spirits right now as I type.  Brings me tears of joy.

So, dear ones...I send healing enegy out to each and every one of you!  We are all connected and a part of this magical earth.  Bless you for acknowledging that I am here, too, and in need of kindness and we all are.  I send it back two-fold.  Love to you all.  Till next week.


"If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.  This is the most basic kind of peace work."

Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, August 09, 2021

August 9, 2021 Monday--2pm

 Just a quick note.  Home from surgery with an unexpected surprise--a catheter bag for 10 days.  All went well.  Pajama days here I come.  Leah is here,  Made me coffee and ice water (have to drink tons of water).  She is heading to pharmacy for prescriptions.  The catheter is to give my bladder a chance to heal and not have to work hard.  So strange to be sitting in my chair here and probably peeing!  Can't even describe how wrong that feels--LOL!  I will have lab results and be able to fiill you in more on how I am healing next Monday.  Thanks to all of you!  Just wanted to let you know I am back home already and now will likely take a little nap till Leah gets back.  :)

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Augest 8, 2021 Sunday--9:45am

Good morning!
Well, I've had almost a week to absorb the news.  Monday afternoon, not long after I posted my blog, the new-to-me urologist called me (before it popped up online on my test results, thank goodness--that's how I learned of the bladder cancer) to tell me that it has spread.  She was very kind and said she was referring me to oncology.  I fully expected the news that it had metastasized--but it is still not easy to hear it verified.

I have had the feeling from when I first read it was cancer that my job is to stay as calm and positive as take things slowly...a day at a time.  This has all felt like the calm before the storm.  Getting myself grounded and spiritually ready for the long haul.  Endurance.  A hard battle.  I had a gut feeling about it but still hoped I was wrong, of course.  But that is the news--cancer in my liver, too.  

There will probably be other tests to see if it has spread anywhere else and then a treatment plan.  

Tomorrow I have the bladder surgery.  They'll know more the specific type of cancer once they scrape this tumor out of me.  (Hope they can get it all.)  I figured I'd blog early to let you know what is happening so far.  Not sure I'll be in great shape for a couple of days after surgery--you know how that goes.  Not expecting any problems with the surgery--just will be glad when it is over with--like any surgery--LOL!

Leah will be with me again--7am.  She can stay with me till they are ready to take me--about 90 minutes or so.  Then the surgery is 60-90 minutes--and then recovery.  Leah can leave during surgery and they will call her when she can come back.  With delta on the rise I am just glad she can still be in with me...even though I was worried about that...but Leah insisted...and I didn't put up much of a fight.  ;)

I worry about the boys who are not able to be vaccinated.

Oh, and my covid test was negative.

I have an appointment with the brand new full-time oncologist on August 30th.  Essentia only has one new full time and one part time oncologist, apparently.  So, I hope he is young and full of fresh ideas and enthusiasm.  

In the meantime, I am not used to doing energywork on myself, but I shall do my best to work on self-healing and positive energy.  This feels like it was meant to be this way.  Gives me time to recover from the surgery and time to prepare myself for battle, you know?  I kept getting that I needed to let myself slow way down--relax--quiet and calm--and all that.  I will have some time this month...after I get through this next harder surgery--LOL!  Won't be long now.  By this time tomorrow I'll be in recovery--ahhh!  And this time I will be totally under for the whole thing and not half awake.  Hurray!  

Anyways, I had a pajama day on Tuesday, for sure.

Wednesday was the covid test.  That morning I saw the little bunny hoping about on my patio and grabbed the camera.
Seemed to be considering my nice new chair as a spot to investigate--LOL!  Everybody likes that chair.
Can you see the bunny's back end right there next to the planter box on the left side?

I do so wish I had been taking a video!!  A sparrow flew in, landed right behind the bunny, and pecked it in the butt!!  It leapt in the air and scooted back into the patio and under my new chair--ROFL!!
But then it made it's way right back out to the grass and seed--LOL!
I was still chuckling about that whole scenario when Leah and the boys picked me up for the clinic.  The covid test was a breeze.  She didn't poke the Q-tip way up into my brain like I so often heard about.  She said they didn't do that anymore.  All she did was swish it round and round and round in each nostril--up a ways, but not to the point it was uncomfortable.  Easy peasy!  

Then Leah came over Wednesday night.  Our Craft Nites have morphed into doing stuff I need help with--LOL!  And we really went to town on the pantry!  Got boxes of jars packed up (Leah hauled to the garage).  Emptied a shelf and a half or more on this side. 
On the other side I had some larger jars up on top and we moved all the coffee beans.
I can't go without jars, of course, so a few of the older cool ones were saved on top of the wire shelves on the back wall.
All my teas, coffees, and cat treats will be on those wire shelves, too.

Quite a  bit more to do, but that was huge!  I helped until my lower back was screaming (been quite irritable since the biopsy from laying flat on that hard table) and Leah kept going.  :)

She has some can holder storage she doesn't use anymore that we are going to try with the cat food cans!  Awesome.  Hope they work on such small cans.

I know--if I was Marie Kondo I would pull the whole works out of there, but that is just too much at once, need to be able to use my kitchen (where else would I stack everything), and I can't live in endless chaos...which I would be because I am waaaay too slow to deal with anything quickly anymore--LOL!  Eventually it will be totally reoranized and cleaned...and I will have room for dry goods in there finally.  

Plus!  I am waiting for the last of the baskets to arrive this week.  

You may recall I got a couple of baskets on Amazon for my bathroom shelves.  
I have been very happy with them.
Ordered more for the pantry (and wherever I can use them elsewhere).  The small set of five and the medium set of three have arrived!
Still have three large ones coming.  As soon as I am recovered from the surgery I will start puttering with those!

My TWSBI Swipe arrived!
TWSBI has never made pens that use cartridges or converters.
The converter (more regular type) you can fill with ink is below the pen.  The pre-filled cartridge is below that and there's this crazy spring you can put behind the cartridge to hold it securely in place.  Never seen that before.

But wait!  There's more!
When you take the pen apart there's another converter with a spring inside!
No one else has a spring loaded converter.  That is something new...and exciting probably only to pen people--ROFL!  I guess it's just in the US you get both of the converters.  That's what I heard, anyways.  And the cartridge might not fit other pens that use the standard size end because these are wider and hold more ink.  Might fit some other pens but is basically made to fit the TWSBI Swipe.

Well, that's the basics from here.  I keep forgetting to say that Leah heard from the sauna people in Canada that they expect to be able to ship sometime in August.  I think I will greatly appreciate being able to draw toxins out of my body!!  :)

The baby bunny makes itself to home on my patio at some point every day.
It leaps and dances about so it must feel pretty safe behind my new big planters.
But--can you see what I saw this morning?  (Besides the dying grass from the drought.)
An even smaller baby bunny!!
They are multiplying like rabbits, eh?

With delta on the rise (and me with cancer, too)...well, things have changed.  Leah and Dagan decided not to send the boys to school again this year--whether they have virtual school available or not.  Dagan is going to see if he can possibly work from home again...but at his office they're just getting the full staff back in a week or so!  People seem to be acting like this is all over and done with.

  We personally can't believe they would want all the kids back in school without vaccinations or masks.  I'm sure part of the 12 and over age kids will be vaccinated, but we are a low vaccination state...and delta will use anybody to attach to and spread...even the vaccinated.  

Anyways, personally, we are going back into full lockdown/isolation/bubble mode here shortly.  Almost back there already, actually.  It's not political to us.  It's choice.  It's just wanting to survive and wanting everyone else to survive.  Caring about other people, you know.  I'd be devastated if I gave the boys covid.  Seems like just common courtesy to wear a mask...common sense when humanity is under attack.  

Was just reading about the new (to USA) Lambda variant.  Until the world gets enough people vaccinated or infected we will continue to see variants...likely smarter, more resistent variants.  So, rather try to be safe at least.  Just my opinion and not out to start arguments.  I wish you all health and well-being.  I shall wear my mask for you...and me.  :)

Anyways, wanted to say that once.  

I will probably be getting regular clinic/hospital exposure in the future here.  My immune system was already shot for the last 20 years and I will likely be having more imaging and recurring I will be ordering some N95 masks this month.  I heard that even vaccinated people who are more vulnerable can end up getting it pretty bad and I think I will be feeling quite cruddy enough, thank you very much--LOL!  I will do everything I can to make it through all of this in the best way I can.  :) :)

In the meantime, I have generations of bunnies, a ground squirrel, partridges, sparrows, grackles, yellow headed blackbirds, and red-winged blackbirds keeping Annie and I company.  I have a surgery to get through tomorrow with Leah keeping me company and watching over me afterwards till I am functional.  I am not in any pain I can't handle...and should be back to this point in a couple days.  Shall go out and soak my planters this afternoon so they will be good for a few days.  I'm going to re-watch Matrix Revolutions before the new one comes out this fall...and set up all my letters owed in my padfolios so I am ready to write after I recover.  I'll be as set as I can be.

  Surgeries always make me nervous--just the getting through them, you know?  And I will.  It is wonderful to know Dagan and Leah will watch out for me.  Most of my life I went through everything alone.  It's a blessing to know you're not alone.  And I have all of you, too.  I can feel your positive energy!  
Thank you so very much.  
Stay safe!

Until next time...  :) :)
"Reverence for life is based on compassion and caring for the other, recognition of the autonomy and subjecthood of the other, and the awareness that we are mutually dependent on each other for sustenance, peace and joy."
Vandana Shiva