If I had written this post several days ago, I may have been called it Hysterical Report. Actually, I thought about renaming this blog to The Hysterical Report. I'm glad I waited. I'd rather not be hysterical about anything.
I am on a new adventure. No. I take that back, it's not new. After 12 years, this adventure's path has come into the foreground. It's simply not a good idea to let the grass grow over this path anymore.
My in-my-face-but-not-hysterical-adventure is an upcoming hysterectomy. Da-dah!
Oh-oh, did I lose you? Come back when you can wrap your head around the concept of a hysterectomy. It took me awhile. I realize it helps for me to write about it.
Yesterday afternoon I got a chest x-ray, one of my three pre-op things to do. The other two are an EKG (next week) and several blood tests (a week before the operation). Did you happen to flash on the Operation board game, by the way?
Because I did the X-rays in town, I repeated myself a lot to the lab receptionist and the X-ray Lady about faxing the X-rays to the Gynecologist-Oncologist's office several cities away. Only after this conversation with the X-ray Lady did I confident that the results will be faxed.
"What kind of surgery are you doing?" asked the X-ray Lady.
"Hysterectomy," I answered.
"We still have to do that?" she asked, which got me wondering if she was in menopausal mode.
"They found precancerous cells."
Yeah. We don't think of grey-haired postmenopausal women as needing hysterectomies. Certainly, not I. My Gyn-Doc wanted me to get a hysterectomy 12 years ago when the biopsy of a uterine polyp showed the cells to be in a state of complex hyperplasia with atypia. Untreated, there was a good risk of me getting cancer. Not having health insurance, I needed to find another route. So the Gyn-Doc put me on birth control pills for several months which chased that condition away and, until this year, the pathology results of subsequence polyps reported benign cells. Yaay!
I went 12 years before complex hyperplasia with atypia reared itself up again. Only this time a pathologist said I had "precancerous cells" and that meant my Gyn-Doc put her foot down. The only treatment was a hysterectomy.
Not totally convinced, I took the Gyn-Doc's referral and met with the Gyn-Oncologist Doc over a week ago. I thought he would take another sample to double check that I got the same result. Nope. The Gyn-Onc Doc said that during the hysterectomy he would take another biospy. The lab results I have were good to go by, he said. Oh.
Then he convinced me I wanted this hysterectomy. He drew two lines on a piece of paper. The left column was Good, the middle, Precancer, and the right, Cancer. In the middle column, he wrote I, II, and III. He circled III and said, "That is you." He wrote 40-50%. "That is the risk of developing cancer," he said. He paused, then continued, "There is no hard line between precancerous and cancer."
In other words, I could develop cancer, I could not. I could already have cancerous cells growing. That latter thought sunk in quite quickly and deeply. Now having affordable health insurance (thank you, President Obama), I did not have a reasonable excuse to dilly dally about shall I take the risk, or shan't I.
I'm slated for a laparoscopic hysterectomy in 34 days. The Gyn-Onc Doc will use da Vinci robotic technology. That's cool, don't you think? I almost want to be awake to watch. Gyn-Onc Doc suggested I look it up on You Tube instead.
So there you go. Stay tuned to more of my trying-not-to-be-hysterical adventure.
When I saw the episode of Grace and Frankie, an original Netflix series starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, in which Frankie (Lily) mentions her diary and Grace (Jane) responds with "Your bullshit diary where you write in the air?", I thought that's how I've mostly been blogging the last 11 months. Unlike Frankie, I mentally write the words.
Have you seen Grace and Frankie by the way? In a nutshell it's about two vibrant women in their 70s who suddenly become roommates because their husbands announced they are gay, been having a secret relationship with each other for years, and want a divorce from Grace and Frankie because so that they can married. A mouthful, huh?
The series revolve around Grace and Frankie coming to terms with suddenly being on their own after 30-40 years of marriage. It's also about the women becoming each other's main support, although they don't think much of each other's life style. Grace is an uptight former CEO of her own company while Frankie is an old hippie artist. There are also secondary stories about Bob (Grace's husband played by Martin Sheen) and Saul (Frankie's ex played by Sam Waterston), as well as the adult children of Grace and Bob and Frankie and Saul. Another mouthful!
I love this show. The storyline. The subject matter—after all, how many TV shows feature older people in a not-so-schmaltzy way. The cast, wowza! One of the creators of the show is Marta Kauffman who also co-created Friends. Quality! And, lots of strong writing, I must add.
Okay. Enough about this show before I distract myself from my original intention of today's blog. If you want to know more about the series, check out the Grace and Frankiewebsite or the Wikipediaarticle about the series.
My original intention? I began this post on Sunday. Today is Wednesday.
My original intention?
Focus, focus, Susie, my darling dear.
My original intention?
Just—in all senses of just—to let me know that I need to express. . .to articulate. . .to humor. . .to feel out loud what's inside my soul.
Just often sad.
That shall pass.
And, while it is passing, I shall do my best to write my thoughts via the keyboard rather than in the air.
It's ABC Wednesday. This was my J post. Click here to please check out other participants. Thank you ABCW Team!
"What got into you?" asked the Husband, looking across the table as I cracked walnuts.
"The bananas got browner just like you said would happen," I answered. We bought the bunch of organic bananas yesterday afternoon. I only wanted three bananas, but when I saw that the bananas were a bunch for a dollar, I couldn't bring myself to buy three bananas when I could purchase eight for the same price. Would you?
I don't remember if I fully answered the Husband's question. I recall that he went back to checking out Facebook so I must've said that I want the walnuts for making banana bread. Now I think I'll bake scones. Easier. Then I'll freeze the rest of the bananas. I found out I don't even need to peel, slice, or stick them in freezer bags. And when I want to use one or two for baking or smoothies, I simply microwave the bananas for a minute or two. Voila!
It's been a good new year so far. I've been very productive, too. Along with cracked walnuts, I've made a pot of New Years' beans and rice, wrote a couple of short pieces (I'm including this post), brought some books downstairs, and envisioned a bit more about how the living room shall look. The Husband and I went down to the storage lockers and brought back a few boxes and things and looked in the attic to see what the Mama hid there.
I know. What's gotten into me? The possibilities of the new year I suppose. Let's see what happens tomorrow.
May you all have peace, joy, and wonder in 2017!
To start the new year, I'm linking up with All Seasons, a joyful meme hosted by Jesh. Click here to check out the meme. Maybe you'd like to join in as well.
The other day I decided to keep a daily Have-Done list. For awhile, that is. Until I no longer need to let myself know that I have accomplished something each day.
Every day, I add things to my To-Do list. As you can see in the photo, the items don't always get done right away. Sometimes, not for weeks after I put them on the list.
The Have-Done things, so far, were not on my To-Do list. That's okay. They were usually stuff:
• I would've distracted myself to do so I wouldn't do anything on the To-Do list. For instance, dig up a narrow piece of the front lawn to create a new home for a bunch of jade plants that no longer fit in their pots.
• I would've discovered I needed to do before I could do a To-do item, such as clean the freezer in order to start it up again.
• I needed to do that moment because they needed to get done then and there. We needed to pay that water bill, you know.
• I would've eventually put on my To-do list. That would've probably been the applesauce I made this morning from the apples I picked off our tree last week.
There you go. That's how I am right now.
H is the letter for this week's ABC Wednesday. (Thank you very much, ABCW team.) To read other H-inspired posts and/or to join in with your own, please click here.
The Husband laughed. I think he laughed. I'll say he laughed. I want him to have laughed.
Tomorrow morning, a surgeon will make an incision in the Husband's chest and install a pacemaker.
The results of the remote heart-monitor the Husband wore for two weeks showed that every now and then his heart flat-lines for several seconds. Not good at all.
Thank goodness this problem was caught now rather than much later and that there is a ready solution. And, thank goodness we have a proactive doctor who cares for his patients and is willing to make insurance companies authorize things immediately.
The Husband is ready as ready can be for this procedure. I cut his hair and trimmed his beard so the surgeon and his team wouldn't get annoyed at all that hair, especially his beard. How much hair? It filled the vacuum cleaner's canister twice!
The Husband is already considering names for his new friend-to-be. "What do you think of Gerry?" he asked. He hummed Ferry Cross the Mersey.
I love the Husband.
June 23, 2016 Update The Husband is home with his new electronic friend. Whooo-hoooo!
Medical technology is amazing. He went in at 10:00 a.m. and by 2:00 p.m. a nurse was wheeling him to our car. The Husband looks great. He already requested and ate ice cream. Now he's laying on the couch, catching up with Facebook on the iPad. Ha!
Thank you, one and all, for your prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibrations. You all helped make this adventure bearable. I love you all.
It's the letter X at ABC Wednesday, the weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continued today under the ABCW team led by Roger Green. Click here to check out other X-posts and/or to join in.
The Mama, the Husband, Molly the cat, and I have rounded the last bend of the Mama's life journey. As we glide through this last leg, please give out a big cheer, throw a kiss, stomp your feet joyously, clap your hands heartily, or do another whooo-hooo of choice. The Mama sends you big hugs, kisses, smiles, laughs, and much love. She thanks you very much for being part of her life, whether it be directly or indirectly through the Husband, Molly the Cat, or me.
Molly the Cat and the Mama got a set of killer wheels the other day.
Neither responded well to their portable travel wheelchair. Of course, who really wants to use such a chair much else actually own it.
"You think the cat will like that?" asked the Mama when she saw what new tool we brought into the house to help her get around safely. The day before it was a bedside commode, and the day before that a walker. Each purchased just in time for its suddenly urgent need.
When the Mama was too tired to inch her way forward any further, she sighed and allowed herself to sit in the chair and be glided to the other room. Settling on her couch, she said, "Give the cat a turn." I think Molly the Cat sighed too when she sat on the seat. She allowed herself to ride for a few feet.
The killer wheels came into the house only two days ago, but it seems more like weeks. Sigh.
In my imagination, I see the Mama, the Husband, and I charging out of the house and down the sidewalks in joyful glee. Molly the Cat, of course, sits at the window swishing her tail in Have a grand time! See you when you get back.
I can hope.
It's the letter K at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme headed by the friendly ABCW team headed by Roger Green. Click here to join in or to read the K's of other participants.
We are on a new adventure—the Mama, Molly the Cat, the Husband, and I.
The Mama's body is failing. Thank goodness, her spirit is not.
She's stubborn. That's a positive.
Yesterday afternoon, she faced reality. She fell! "You need to use the walker," I exclaimed.
"No! The dead people used it," she said, referring to the walker gathering dust in the garage. She used it once upon a time when she was healing from a broken hip. Somewhere along the line she let a friend borrowed it, which his wife returned after he died.
"We will get you another one," I said. It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Fortunately, for us, we found a bare-basic walker, without the sparkles and whistles, at the pharmacy.
Thankfully for us, the Mama allowed herself to use the walker. I loved that at one point, as she slowly made her way down the hallway, she stamped her feet and scolded her legs for not working with her.
Last night, Molly the Cat gave the Mama an extra dosage of purrrrrrrrr while she laid on the couch in the living room. Molly first kneaded the Mama's blanket, then snuggled beside the Mama's legs. Sweet, Molly the Cat.
It seems that Molly's and the Mama's appetite are in sync. Mama eats a little bit, Molly eats a little bit. The Mama eats a good bit of her food, Molly eats her food. When Molly doesn't eat her meal, the Mama urges her to "Eat, eat, eat." I would love it if Molly could say, "You first, Madame."
As I'm writing, I can hear the Mama washing her breakfast dishes. (It was a good day for breakfast for the Mama and Molly.) My
first thought when I heard the clang of dishes was to stop her and wash
them for her. No. It's routine. It's normalcy. It's independence. For
her. And for us.
Today, when the Mama is watching her game shows, the Husband and I will rearrange the furniture in her room so that she can move about fairly easy with her walker. She'll strike back at that change of reality. That's good.
I have begun to cry. I do my best not to do it in front of her. So far, so good.
That loaf of sweet French bread jumped out at me as I entered the kitchen.
"One slice won't hurt you," it purred, smiling seductively from the kitchen counter.
Ignoring my yearning for a taste of the bread, I gathered ingredients to make sandwiches for the Mama's and the Husband's lunch. I simply pretended that I didn't like bread. It worked, thank goodness.
Turns out I still don't know better.
Nine days ago, I started to limit the foods that I can eat because I was lethargic and scatterbrained. For the last two months, I had been consuming too many desserts, bread, potato chips, and beer without doing any worthwhile exercise to offset the yummy calories. In addition, my eczema was constantly raging and, frighteningly, an insect bite turned into an ugly fungal infection, which was a first for me. Burp. Burp. Yeah, a lot of those, too. So, no gluten foods. No fried foods. No desserts. No peanut butter. No caffeine. No dairy products, except for yogurt and kefir. No fried foods. And, a bunch of other No's that I can't recall at the moment.
Today, on day nine, I feel stronger. In a few days, I'll assess how much longer I ought to stay on this "No" program.
All in all I had a great reading trip, going back and forth in time and traveling all around the world without leaving home. I didn't realize I'd be away this long from the blog. I actually feel mentally stiff trying to string words together.
We are doing fine, thank you all for asking. As we head into spring, we are going outside more each day. Now and then the Mama goes out to play in her garden. I love those days.
Life is kind and gracious. S'wonderful!
It's the letter Gon ABC Wednesday with Roger, Melody, Di, and other ABCW team members. Whooo-hooo! Click here to join in or to read other Gposts.
Ilocano is the Mama's primary language. It was the Daddy's as well. Ilocano is one of the languages of the Philippines.I'm one of those second-generation people who can understand their parents' primary language proficiently but is a doofus when it comes to speaking it. I don't even think I spoke it before I went to school, which was probably because the Only and Older Brother was already in school when I came along.
Because we've lived with the Mama for over 12 years, I've gained back much of my comprehension skills. It's a good thing. As the Mama
has gotten older, she is speaking more in Ilocano without
realizing it. Her hearing is pretty bad, which has me thinking that a lot of the time English sounds like jibber jabber to her. I've started using a word or two of Ilocano, when I can think of it. Of course, my Ilocano also sounds like jibber jabber to her.
Doesn't matter. Broken Ilocano talk, here I am.
Adda iti kayat mo? Is there anything you want?
Ado. A lot.
Today ABC Wednesday starts Round 18, which begins my third round with the meme. Whooo-hooo! This cool meme was started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continues today under the helm of Roger Green and his ABCW team. Thank you! If you'd like to participate and/or check other participants, please click here.
“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
~Anonymous, Greek proverb
I read that Greek proverb this morning on Facebook. It reminded me of the Daddy when he planted peach, pear, apple, persimmon, cherry and fig saplings around the backyard of his and Mama's house. "These trees are for the grandchildren," he said. I recall thinking how lucky those kids would be to climb the trees. The Mama moved before the Only and Older Brothers' kids were old enough to try them out. I like to think that other kids did.
The proverb also had me thinking of the Mama and her wonder of planting the apricot and avocado seeds from the fruit that we've harvested from her trees. This year two of the second generation apricot trees bore fruit. I have no doubt that all the other apricot and avocado trees will do the same one day. It'll be one crazy fruit forest out in the backyard when the trees grow up.
I love that my parents are among the people in the world who have the heart and vision to plant trees for the future. I shall continue on the tradition.
Heart Warm Wednesday is a new weekly meme hosted by the kind-hearted Jenny Matlock. Click here to read posts by other participants. There's still time to link up, it you'd like.
We slewed a Jabberwocky, my friends. We did! Hooray, Hooray!
We being the Mama, the Husband, and me.
Today's Jabberwocky being the Mama's annual Christmas shopping trip to J.C. Penny's.
Once upon a time, the Mama walked back and forth across the mall. Today, it's an effort to make it through one department store. We all wondered if she could even make the walk from the sidewalk to the door. She does not believe in canes, walkers, nor wheelchairs.
On wobbly legs, the Mama plodded slowly through the crowded aisles. I was her eyes looking at sizes, prices, and colors. The Husband scouted out the store: What are the other departments on this floor? Where are the cash registers? Where is glassware? Which is closer, the elevator or escalator?
The Mama sat often. On boxes, on shelves, and on chairs. The Husband stood guard and kept her company while I sought items to bring back for her to check from the comfort of her seat.
Yes, indeed. Today was a warm-hearted adventure. The Mama did well. The Husband did well, as did I. Together, we can handle the jabberwockys.
Today, I'm linking up to Warm Heart Wednesdays, hosted by the wonderful Jenny Matlock. Click here to join in or check out more posts.
Just before we turned off the lights last night, the Husband and I were talking about something that reminded of something else that I thought would be fun to write about today. I always like when that happens.
This morning, I woke up thinking about what I wanted to write. But, I couldn't recall. The Husband couldn't remember either.
I figure the thought would pop up by lunchtime. It didn't happen. Nor, did the thought reveal itself after lunch.
When you have much to do. Yup. Time flies. Fly, fly, time.
Within the next six hours, I plan to do this:
Finish the Husband's tunic. All I need to do is attach the sleeves and sides, then hem it up.
Make an appetizer. The Husband and I are going to a party tonight. Fun. Maybe I'll make cheesy olive balls. They're easy to make, but that means going to the store for olives and cheddar cheese. Put together a photo collage. It's for a luncheon fundraiser tomorrow. I could probably do that after the party, if I print the photos beforehand. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Get this post done. I threw this in so I can feel like I'll have accomplished something once its published. Always look for the positive, I say.
Thank goodness, I finished reading my novel last night, otherwise I'd forget about doing these things I plan to do. Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen. Just like the title, the story was enchanting.
I could go for either a cup of coffee or a lovely cocktail. That's not going to happen. So, I'll just pretend to smell the flowers. See ya.
This morning, I put on my orange tee-shirt, grey yoga pants, mismatched socks, orange Converse shoes, and red fingerless gloves, which I topped with my old don't-mess-with-me (in my mind) orange jacket. Tilda-Hilda was happy to see me again.
Today made two days in a row for Tilda-Hilda and me. Twenty-minute rides, more or less. I puffed and gasped as I went up slopes and whoo-hoo'd with glee as I coasted down them. My knee twinged a couple of times, but not enough for me to turn back home. And, when I pedaled across an open field, I recalled again what I like about riding bicycles and was ready to take on another hill.
I haven't pedaled Tidla-Hilda since the beginning of the year. A friend asked me why not? Simple. I got lazy, which meant I lost all my muscle tone and gained back nearly all the weight I lost. Five months of laziness is enough. Tomorrow morning Tilda-Hilda and I will go out for a bit longer of a ride. Slowly and surely, we'll get back to taking those long rides on the back roads again.