Thursday, June 30, 2016

Still Alive and Kicking!!

Since my last post in January, my sister Debbie has lost all of her hair due to the chemotherapy, and has been undergoing radiation therapy to try to rid her body of the cancer that has spread to her brain. The doctors wanted to do gamma knife surgery on her, but the cancer in her brain has spread to too many places to do it, so they will continue with the radiation 5 days a week through December. She didn't have any bad reactions to the chemo, but the radiation is making her very tired and not feeling well. I don't know if that is because of the radiation or the spread of the cancer cells, since small cell cancer is the fastest spreading cancer there is :( She has been eating more fruits and more protein, and has actually gained a few much needed pounds and has been trying to stay active so she can enjoy her granddaughter Abbie as much as she can. My heart is aching for my sister and the future she is facing with this horrible, unforgiving disease :( I pray that God will give her time here to watch her granddaughter grow up. My oldest sister Sharon just went through a hip replacement surgery this week and is doing well and will hopefully get to go home today or tomorrow. I only hope she doesn't overdo it.....she runs her household and works in her garden, so keeping her down is gonna be a hard job! My sister Linda and her husband just bought a forever home and are in the process of moving and fixing up their old house to put on the market. We have all been helping her as much as we can since her husband is disabled from a brain injury he suffered in 2003. My brother Earl and his wife just welcomed their second granddaughter Chloe!! Jeni is managing well while her husband is spending a week in Texas for work. Heather (Fred) is still loving her little family in Colorado. Mike and I are enjoying our upgraded pool and the garden we have done in the back yard. I am working on completing a blanket/quilt for our Harry Potter room and making new pillows for the sofa. I am also getting ready to start our cosplay costumes for Arthur and Molly Weasley that we will be wearing to the 2017 Harry Potter celebration in Orlando. I guess that's it for now......later tater :D

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cancer SUCKS!

So, my sister that just started chemo last week for the Small Cell Lung Cancer, has finished her first three rounds of chemo and will have 21 days to recover from that then they will repeat her PET Scan to see how things look, then do three more days of chemo with 21 days off and then check her PET Scan again. After her second day of chemo she and her son met with the oncologist to get the results of the PET Scan.....My sister (we are giving her a name now....Debbie) was excited to know that the cancer was not in her liver or kidneys, but there is a "small" amount in her lungs and in her brain....she called it a "small" amount....so I celebrated that moment with her on the phone. Hey, if she is happy, I'm gonna be happy for her!!! She has come to terms with her bleak prognosis and is doing what is necessary to make the most of the time she has by being upbeat and positive!!! They say that a positive attitude can help the body to heal, so by golly gosh....WE ARE GONNA ALL BE UPBEAT AND POSITIVE!!!! I will cry on my own time, and not share the fear and sadness that wells up in me. I want her to remain happy and full of life, this is her journey and I am going to do my best to make it a good one with her!! My next sister (Linda) the one with the probable low grade lymphoma is also being positive. She had an upset stomach and laid on her cool bathroom floor waiting for it to pass (we did this as children too) and she paid a dear price for it a few hours later...her left foot ached and throbbed and burned with pain so bad that she had to call one of her daughters to come take her to the ER. The doctors didn't see anything on the x rays and diagnosed her with neuropathy (nerve pain) and told her to see her neurologist. No crutches, no anything to keep her off the foot she can't put any pressure on because it brings her to tears. Just some Tramadol for the pain...hey if Percocet did nothing for the pain, the damn Tramadol ain't gonna help either!! She has had a very rough few days, and made it even worse emotionally for her because she was going to take Debbie to her chemo on Friday and couldn't. Me, I quit my job so I can focus on this anatomy and physiology class and all I can seem to focus on is my sisters, and everything and anything else but my school work. My mind is running rampant and I think I'm in this class over my head, but I AM NOT DROPPING it!!! I refuse to give up!! So, with that said and my head emptied of the goings on with two of my sisters, I am calling it a night and going to bed. I have my first exam tomorrow in the testing center for my anatomy and physiology class. Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I got a WHAT!!

Today I reached the lowest point in my college career....(BTW, I am a career college student thanks to my husband)....today, I got an F on a lecture quiz!! That's right, a big ole fat "F"!!! It did not stand for fabulous either!!! So, in the realization that today marked one week into this semester of advanced Anatomy & Physiology, I had to quit my part time job...the one I had at the college...because it just was not possible for me to keep up with 6 hours of classroom lecture, 24 hours of online lectures, two quizzes a week, two tests per week, and an exam at the end of each two weeks....ON TOP OF an online communications class. I am very blessed to have an amazing husband who understood and told me that I needed to lose the job since withdrawing was not on the table of options. So, for nearly 2 years now I have enjoyed my 20 hour a week job as the Bakery Specialist at The Culinary Institute of Charleston. I cried when I left school today because I got that stupid "albeit" deserved "F". I cried because i have been sleep deprived trying to keep up with class and get up to go to work those measly 4 hours....WELL, not so measly when I need those 4 hours a day to study and try to be present in my other studies as well....OH, and let's not forget that there is a household to take care of too! But mostly I cried because my dear departed mother would be frowning up it!!! I wouldn't want to disappoint her, nor myself. The icing on the proverbial cake this week is another reason to cry....I have 3 sisters. The oldest has MS (diagnosed about 3 years ago), the next oldest was just diagnosed with Small Cell Lung cancer :( for which there is no cure, only the possibility of remission....she starts chemo in 11 1/2 hours from this very moment. I am sad and terrified for her. At the moment, she seems to be realistic about the road she is facing, in a few days, after her first 3 rounds of chemo, may be a different story :( BTW, this is the same type of lung cancer that took my mother last year :( It is already in my sisters carotid artery (left side). We won't know until Thursday just how advanced it is, but she's a fighter, and has a son and granddaughter and a husband that need her....we all need her. My next oldest sister (5 years my senior) has the great probability of having low grade lymphoma....I think that's what it's called. Deemed the best kinda cancer to have if your gonna have it :/ It's small enough that they can't treat it, so they are watching it. They have ran test and biopsies, and marrow and bone tests, and they've all been negative....except for a PET scan they did showed a growth of twice the size in a "node" than the previous scan a few months ago showed, but still nothing to treat! For now, we'll take that amazing bit of news. I can not even come to terms with all the craziness that the black queen (cancer) has brought into my world in the past year. I am praying that each and every one of my sisters, friends and family members can stay healthy and heal. My heart is heavy with grief and my eyes are swollen from tears. I pray for God's healing hand and love and protection for them all, and for myself <3

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I Found the Source!!!

For the last few months, part of my kitchen counter and window area over the sink have been home to many little insects :( We have a clean home and regular pest control. We have NEVER, in the 10+ years we have been in this house, EVER had these little critters, and I mean little!! The pest control company initially thought, as we did, that it was roach/water bug/Palmetto bug droppings. So the treated the inside for such critters.....NOTHING!!!! The slightly bigger than a flea looking things were still there. Not there in huge droves, but always on the window seal. Well, on December 15th I had enough! The pest control company sent out their technician, yet again, to treat whatever the "things" were. This time however, instead of this little "things" on the window seal, they were now triple the amount and showing up on my drying mat and window seal!!! I decided to start wiping them off the areas and putting them in a snack size zip lock bag so they could be taken to the lab and looked at under a microscope so we could get to the bottom of what the heck these little critters were! I have noticed that they were not all dead as I have previously thought!!! Oh no, far from dead!! Some of them had wings, some were crawling and some a little bigger than others!! OKAY, now I am freaking the hell out and have collected about 50 of these little "things" in two days before the bug guy got here! When the technician arrived I showed him where the area was that these little critters were living/dying. He had NO CLUE!!! So, he took a picture of the ones in the baggie and sent it off to another tech. The other technician immediately identified them as "Cigarette/Cigar Beetles"! WTF is that!!! Well, me being to curious decide to Google it, and learned more about these little things than I cared to know. The worst part is that you can't immediately kill them off. You have to bait them and let them continue meandering around your kitchen (holidays be damned) until they take the bait (poison) back to the queen and she proceeds to die. Once the queen is dead, the remaining larvae continue to do their thing until the mature and become these little flea looking things with or without wings. Well, it has been over three weeks today and still they are here! The company said it would take 3 to 4 weeks to get rid of them.....GROSS!!!! In the meantime I had Christmas to host and foods to cook, all the while praying that these critters would disappear! Tonight I decided to clean out all of the cabinets and toss anything and everything that did not have an airtight seal. To my cheers and ultimate horror, I found the source of these damn beetles......a paper can of Italian Bread crumbs! Not just one can, but 2!! You see, i'm a great bargain shopper and I sorta plan my meals well in advance and when I find a great sale, I stock up!! One of these cans had been opened and closed back with plastic wrap and then the plastic lid that came with it. OMG OMG OMG!!! I picked up the opened can and immediately found the source of all these damn bugs all over the can, the plastic wrap and the lid, as well as the sealed can beside it (these cans are the paper type of cans like oats come in). These beetles, while in there larvae state can bore through these containers like they bore through cigars and cigarettes. Once the queen lays her eggs, its on from there! After my discovery, I through out EVERYTHING in that cabinet!! All of it! GONE!!! Thank God trash pick up is tomorrow, because that can is OVERFLOWING!! I pulled out the shelves and scrubbed them all with hot soapy water and left them to air dry. So, now that I have found the source, I am passing on this information to you!! These beetles can arrive in your home in many ways, first way being as larvae in a cigar box; and in your dog food bag; in boxes of pasta; in cereal boxes.....getting the picture here? I thought so! I will continue to purge my pantry as well tomorrow, even though there was no activity anywhere except the window seal and that one cabinet.....I AIN'T TAKING NO CHANCES!!!! I'm off to bed!

Monday, January 4, 2016

I mean it this time!!

Hello to anyone who happens to still come visits blogs....obviously it's been less than a year since I actually looked at my own blog, let alone anyone else's. My world has been upside down and twisted around in the last few years, but not as bad as 2015 was. I lost my most amazing mother in March, shortly after my birthday. I surprised myself in ways I never imagined. I always thought that my whole world would crumble and you'd have to pick me up of the ground when my momma died....that was not even close to what happened! Don't get me wrong, I was devastated from the moment I found out she had less than a month to live, she had end stage Small Oat Cell Cancer, and within a few weeks of getting the devastating news.....she was gone. My heart sank and I cried and I cried and I cried some more. I still cry, sometimes it hits me outta nowhere. My father died nearly 16 years ago, and the pain of loosing him was heartbreaking, but honey let me tell you this, there IS NO MEASURABLE difference when you loose your momma! Mommas are different. Mommas are some kind of special. Mommas give you something that daddy's just can't give. I don't know what it is, or how to put it in words, but for those of you blessed to have the best mom....you know what I mean and my heart goes out to you if you have lost her. I have been back in school now for over 4 years thanks to my husband. I was working and doing my thing when he offered up his GI Bill to me. Once he retired from the Air Force and began working for Boeing, he didn't have a need for it anymore because Boeing would be paying for him to finish his Bachelors Degree AND his Masters!! He has since finished both....WITH HONORS!!! (insert proud wife cheesy grin).....anyway, I went thru culinary and baking and pastry and FINALLY finished the two classes that have kept me from attaining my Associates Degree (did I ever tell you I HATE MATH!!!!!). Once I finished my degree, I just kept on going (CRAZY I KNOW!!!!!) and took some art classes and delved into photography!! I was in the second year of my photography degree when momma passed away, needless to say, that was the end of that!! I stopped working and going to school to be with her for whatever time there was left! I am so grateful to God that he let me be there for her (I was there for daddy too). I made a promise to her before she died and I intend to keep it. When I was in the Navy I was a Dental Technician (do everything involved with teeth) and I LOVED IT!!! When I got out of the Navy I started college to get my Dental Hygiene Degree and I broke my ankle during my second year of pre-requisites and never went back. I worked for a dentist for a few years then went back to school (not for dental because it was nearly 2 hours away from the only campus) to study criminal justice and paralegal studies. Turns out that it was not for me so I went back to work waiting tables. I eventually went to massage therapy school years later and after graduating I ended up in Charleston, SC with a new life, new me, new beginning! Turns out to be the best thing EVER (other than my beautiful daughters!). I met my sweet loving husband a few months after I moved and it's been bliss every since! But I digress......back to school...well, I went to school after I moved here to study esthetics (skin care) and then went on to cosmetology (why not!) and was rolling along at my job for 7 YEARS!!!! When outta nowhere my husband offers me his GI Bill. What the heck am I gonna do with that? "Basket weaving" he tells me! "Do something fun" he says.....so I did! This month I will be returning to school to finish my art and photography degrees.......and........I will also begin the Dental Hygiene program!!!! Yepper!!! I will be embarking on a journey that began over 20 years ago, and this time, I will complete the journey and fulfill my promise to not only my mother, but to myself! I will also be blogging frequently so I can keep my head in the game and hold myself accountable. If you read this, thank you, if you don't that's okay too. It will be good therapy for me to be able to get thoughts out of my head, and to get creativity flowing again! Oh.....I forgot that part! I haven't crafted in almost a year!!! I'm telling you, when momma died, a part of me died with her. My mojo left the building, and it's knocking on the door wanting to come back in and I think that I am ready for it now. So, you will be hearing about school, and about the awesome (or not so awesome) crafts I create!! Thanks for listening (reading) or not, either way, I'm good!!