Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Doctors and parenting. I think I need drugs.

I've decided I have a terrible case of "white coat syndrome." Went with Jim to his doctor's appointment and shook like a leaf (my mom's saying) the entire length of the appointment. It went well; Jim liked the doctor and the doc didn't freak out about the lump in his side. They are going to "watch it", (where have I heard those words before???) and then if it grows too much I guess we will go to a surgeon. Jim said the doc debated but said it was really rubbery (good), moveable (good), and smooth edges (good). Funny, the night before, I had told Jim all those things. Again, credit must go to my University of Google medical degree. Anyway, he had and EKG, etc and is now scheduled for the colonoscopy next Friday with the same doctor who did Johnny's. I figured he would be extra diligent and not take anything for granted with Jim. Jim talked to Danny last night and Danny will be going in as soon as football season is over--now we just need to see what Pooh is planning on doing.

Andrew is ready for college and we are ready for Andrew to go to college. If you have smallish children, appreciate them 'cause they do grow up and become MONSTERS. : ) I love the kid dearly but it is time...

Joshie is going to journalism camp Sunday through Thursday and is so excited. He is delightful that way. I just spent the morning trying to download the camp packet and it took forever 'cause my printer is all jacked up. You are probably wondering why Josh didn't do it--well, probably because he is NEVER home and I like to be prepared. Andrew's Goshen adviser called last night (he wasn't home) but told me that he is sooooooooo on the ball about getting all the paperwork, etc. in to come to Goshen next month. Of course, that would be ME that is on the ball. There is a part of me who wants to stop helping--just so he can figure out how good he has it. I also thought about telling him he can't take the truck he calls "his"...wouldn't that rock his bada#$ attitude. Ha! And how about figuring out how to pay for his books? Hmmm... not so bada#$ anymore I bet.

Parenting can suck big time.

On the bright side, well, I can't think of anything that bright, except that Johnny has worked for three days now. That is a victory!!!

Keep clicking those ads...each click is worth about 50 cents on average. Amazing. As Pam told Jake, "it's the great American way."


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One organ is clear.

This is going to be a short post but I want to say that:

I have no signs of cancer in my cervix. How's that for putting it out there??? With all the cancer talk and worries, I am doing a happy dance at that good news. All you cancer worriers understand the small victories. And no, I wasn't worried but getting the all clear is a reason to celebrate.

And my goodness, I hate to benefit from Pam and Johnny's cancer fight right now, but this clicking business is making me a profit as well. I think I made over $12 today alone. I can't imagine Pam's profits, as she had people checking in from, and I mean this literally, ALL OVER THE WORLD. Just what those advertisers want too.

Jim's doctor's appointment is tomorrow. I accidentally scared Andrew about's a long story...but I felt during a particular conversation we were having that he needed to know about Jim's lump in his side. Andrew got extremely upset...which he never does....but I felt I needed to tell him for many different reasons. He is ok now and I don't regret telling him as he is a bit self-centered these days-- but he took it much harder than I intended. I spent a half hour back peddling and trying to tell him it is most likely nothing. Sigh.

Headed to bed to read for awhile and then wonderful sleep.

Thanks for clicking and visiting. Mucho adore'.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

A nice Sunday

As you can see, I added new ads to my blog. Didn't know you could do that! I appreciate you clicking and also urge you to click on Pam's site. They will be using the money to help with expenses related to Johnny's travel for the liver surgery.

Today is the official first day of no baseball. Andrew lost yesterday (blessing in disguise since the team that beat us KILLED us and we would most likely have no chance at state) Now I just have to do laundry to get all of his various uniforms ready to be turned in tomorrow at his banquet.

We are starting Sunday dinners at MIL and FIL's again today. Potato soup is on the menu (at Jim's suggestion). Perfect for a hot summer day. : ) Jim talked to Johnny this morning and he sounds much better. Relief.

Josh went to Relay for Life last night and hasn't gone to sleep yet. He is acting like it as well. Jim is mowing the lawn. Andrew is sleeping, as always, after a night of poker at a friend's house. The life of a teenager.

My chest pain is definitely better, as is my cough but both are still there. I am deciding it is allergies. And I really think they might be from my basement since I have ignored the laundry for most of this week and things are better.

We are trying to cut costs in our house and just cancelled all our movie channels. In doing so, I cut WGN, which carries the Cubs. That lasted for about two days. Just got them back on, but was able to do so without adding the expensive stuff. I am happy with the Food Network, HGTV, and the locals...

Tomorrow I am going to Kalamazoo to see my parents. Work is looming!


Saturday, July 25, 2009


I feel like it is super early--it's already after 9 AM but I am the only one up. Josh and I were up with Psycho Dog at 2:30 AM (I was reading, he was watching some TV show) when the storms hit so I think it was after 3 when I finally fell asleep. I think Andrew needs to be up for his game so that is the only reason I am up. Stoned little Shady is outside, experiencing wet grass and gray skies in her stupor.

Today is Relay for Life. If you have ever attended, it is a very emotional experience whether you have had cancer or not--and with cancer, ...well darn, it's achingly hard. But sometimes a good cry is good for the soul? Anyway, we are not sure if we are going. There is a part of me that feels I MUST go and the other part scares me to go. Then I have feelings of overwhelming gratitude to the people who work so hard for it. I imagine after Andrew's game we will go. I am proud to get survivor t-shirt and the luminary lighting is amazing. I hate being conflicted. I guess I will know tonight what I need to do.

Today is the regional championships for American Legion baseball. I think we play a team from Blissfield, but luckily our regional is here in St. Joe so no travel for us. (that is a first) If you recall, Blissfield is the team Andrew's 16 year old team beat to go the to Michigan State championships (and then later the World Series) so we know they are very, very good. Plus, if I am right, they were runners up for the high school state championships this year. Ameican Legion World Series is in Fargo, North Dakota so that would be really interesting if we went that far! : )

Thanks to you who keep clicking on my ads on this blog. I am up to almost another $70 just because of your clicking. Mimi, you should put ads on your blog...I would click all day and you could use the money for whatever is needed, or donate it. It's a very easy gig and why not "use" the advertisers?

Finished Stalking Susan and have now started a Stephen White book called Missing Persons. Jim just finished for the fourth time, the third Harry Potter book. He is now going to read the Half-Blood Prince again.

I am considering taking another class soon.

Must get Andrew up. Here's to a day of energy and calm stomaches for Johnny.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Now I get to worry about Jim

Worry wart here.

Jim got his doctor's appointment for Tuesday. They did not ask him one question about his medical history so the receptionist who told me that the doctor would look it over and then they would call didn't know what she was talking about. Unless, and I doubt this, maybe me telling her about Johnny led to a discussion with the doctor and he said get him in.

I am less worried about Jim's colon than I am about this lump he has had for about a year now just below his boob, if he had a boob. He has strange lumps in his body...I think a doctor years ago told him another lump was a fatty lipoma so that is what I have been thinking it was. But now, it of course scares me. It has also grown and isn't rubbery like I want it to be but does feel like the fatty lipoma on my neck. Sheesh. Either way, he is seeing a doctor so...I can't even think about it!

My cough comes and goes but isn't getting worse. What is worse is this upper chest heartburn. Don't have it in the morning...just as the day goes on. It is decent when I am laying down...oh hell, who the hell cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (remember, I write this down so I can remember when things happen...not just because I am insane)

I also learned yesterday, my Uncle Bill, my dad's sister's husband has colon cancer. I think he is in his early 80's. Do not confuse this with Uncle Bill Brawley! Rumors would spread like wild fire, wouldn't they?

Andrew actually took Josh and his friends out for pizza. He must have been hungry to do anything nice for his bro.

Reading a new author--Julie Cramer. Book is called Stalking Susan. Another mystery.

The Discover Card people called me today to encourage me to use my card more. I wanted to tell them we were on the verge of bankruptcy. How nuts is that.

Jim was able to give blood for the first time yesterday for the Ava Christine blood drive. I was approved to give until I got to the question about tattoos. I thought I had gotten my areola tattooed in February, but it was actually last August (thanks blog) so I just missed being about to give by about a week. Next year. I think Jamie was pleased with the turnout. She has to know that none of us will ever forget Ava angel.

Ok, need to quit hacking at this.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today the battle begins! Johnny is already kicking cancer's ass as we speak. Hopefully, Crazy MIL is playing lots of BrainAge on her Nintendo DS and Pam is reading wine magazines. Johnny is probably talking fishing with some older gentleman. Regardless, the bad cells are getting KILLED.

Shade woke me up this morning in an anxious fit. Have no idea why. But that was at 4:00. I was still up when Jim got up at 5:30 but feel back asleep and didn't get up until 10. Oops. I have a lunch meeting today with our administrative staff so I am heading out soon.

My job this morning was to get Jim a doctor's appointment. Jim is suddenly very interested in this, which is understandable. Besides the colon issues, he has had a growing lump near his rib cage/breast area. This whole time we have been thinking it was a fatty lipoma, as he has a another in another spot--and he has had this for years but now it has gotten our attention. Instead of going to my doctor, we decided it might be better to go to Johnny's doctor so we get the same doc to do the colonoscopy, etc. As we know with me, getting doctor's appointments is never easy as JIM has to be the one to set the appointment up. Luckily, the receptionist said getting into Dr. Al-Fahdl is fairly fast--I am assuming he is new. Pam loves him therefore I love him. Anyway, Jim will call this afternoon. I tried to tell the receptionist about Johnny and why we were in a hurry and she understood, but still couldn't take Jim's history from me. Ok. He will call tonight.

Jim hit a deer yesterday and did $1000 worth of damage to his car. That was according to Tyler's. Another body shop in Niles said it was $2400 worth. I didn't even ask. We are going to Tyler's.

Still coughing and chest hurts. It has to be allergies.

Love to all. Please pray that strongman Johnny has few side effects from this chemo.


Monday, July 20, 2009

The beat goes on.

Good morning. I just spent the last hour reading over old posts from two years ago as I prepared for my results from Dr. Ansari. I am sick to my stomach with anxiety for Johnny and Pam--I know a bit how they are feeling and can't help. I wish I could but I can't. But I can say this. Dr. Ansari will have a plan when they are done and then the battle begins.

Two years ago yesterday was my diagnosis. And here I am still worried. My chest does not feel as bad today because I haven't coughed as much but it was killing me last night. Luckily, I sleep well.

I promised Josh I would take him and his friends to Cici's Pizza today. I want to get some new sheets so I am headed to Target--lots on sale.

Please, please, please bring some peace to Johnny and Pam today!


Sunday, July 19, 2009


Good Sunday to you.

Thursday was a busy day. I had my doctor's appointment with Dr. T--which was uneventful. I did tell him about my coughing and he couldn't offer me much more than "take Clariton and 'forgedda 'bout it', which is what he said. He said my lungs sounded "great" and that I had some clear crap running in my nose--but everything else was fine. However, I must say that his words did NOT reassure me as I am still sort of wheezy and my chest hurts a bit and I keep coughing. I did buy some Clariton (goodness, is that stuff expensive! 24 pills was $20 at WalMart) and am on day 2 of it. Still coughing and chest hurts, and my throat hurts a little too. Andrew is also taking the Claritin for his runny nose--I know this could all be allergies but it is so scary and of course, I have seen a million ads for lung cancer, lung cancer symptoms, etc. I also notice that when I am sitting down it is sometimes hard to talk--like I can't get air in. Could just be my fat belly squeezing something but it is bothersome. I am also having all kinds of wierd aches and pains everywhere...never a day without worry. I am seriously thinking about taking Xanax until these things subside. I just feel so edgy.

I am obviously sensitive to Johnny's issues as well. In fact, Dr. T asked me how I was doing with the whole cancer thing so I told him about Johnny. Because of that he decided that, to further ease ANY fears that I might have, I should do the whole "blood in stool test" using these little cards. I am NOT concerned about that for me...but what the hell, it can't hurt. I appreciated his concern for my "sensitivity" (his word) to the cancer issues but haven't done the stool thing.

After the doctor's appointment, off we went to Chicago. Concert was marvelous. We sang lots and stood the whole time. I had a GIANT of a guy standing in front of me that looked sort of like Pooh--just on major steroids. This guy was so nice though--he and his buddy were with what I called the "Kardashian sisters"--two really cute dark haired hotties that weighed about 100 pounds tops. We were actually sore from standing so much and felt like we had performed. Our seats were awesome and it was just a nice night. Thank you my Lonnie, as always.

This weekend Andrew's baseball team won the District tournament for American Legion baseball so his season continues. He plays again this coming Saturday at what is called the "Zone", or regionals. If they were to win that, he would go to the State Championships, which is the following week. Andrew had the game winning hit in the semis, so it was an exciting night. Once he is done playing, he has to start conditioning BIG TIME for college ball so he hopes to keep winning. : ) I just sent off a check to Goshen to take care of his tuition that isn't covered by scholarship. Good to have that done!

Jim and I are getting old...we have taken to going for a nightly drive to look for deer. It is crazy how many deer are out by Johnny and Pam's house around 9 PM. We just put the car in park and watch them. Last night, there was another car doing the same thing. I do not think I could ever shoot one--but don't blame those that do since I have seen the damage they do, plus the surplus of them is not good for the food chain.

Johnny hears from Dr. A tomorrow about his PET/CT scan and what the plan is to get chemo started. I just feel good about the PET report so hopefully, chemo will quickly be started. Please, tonight, say extra prayers that Johnny and Pam have strength to get through the appointment and that the news is good. They are in such good hands but getting there is the worst part...they will leave armed and ready to fight!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

C is for Chicago tomorrow.

You are probably wondering why that little drop of blood is my new icon photo--well, as I looked for a saved picture of me I found it and thought she was so cute. Her name is Ruby and she graced our halls at NHS during a recent blood drive. No, it isn't me in the costume (HA) but I still think she is cute so what the heck, she will be my photo.

Wow, it is suddenly really hot and humid. We do not have the air on today--I swear it makes my cough worse. My cough is still around...most of the time I think it is sinus issues but still get scared. UGH.

Tomorrow is a busy but exciting day! In the a.m., I have contract negotiations, then a doctors appointment for the annual annoying exam, and then Jim and I, along with Johnny and Pam, are going to see Elton John and Billy Joel in Chicago. Our blessed Berrien Springs angel got the tickets for us and we are so excited! Our angel wanted Danny to go too but he has football camp and feels he needs to stay back here--and, yes, that is the responsible thing to do I am sure! I think Pam's sister and her husband are now going so it will be lots of fun! Weather looks good. The concert is at Wrigley Field and Lonnie says it is 4 hours long so it will be a late night. I hope the night allows us all to forget about the c word if even for just a few hours.

The other good news of the day is I finished two of my classes that I have been taking. I just have to get them mailed off. Then I have to decide the next one I am going to take. The two I just finished were about motivating the unmotivated student (ironic it took me 10 months to get it done) and the other one was about stress relief. Most of my stress this summer was worrying about gettting that class done so now I have one less thing to worry about so I guess the class worked. (that is a joke)

Made yummy fudge the other day. Still eating it. I almost doubled the recipe. Thank goodness I didn't.

I bought Ginger a Nintendo DS game with the Brain Age game and she is as addicted as I am. She called today to say her brain age is 26. She is an overachiever!

When I post next I hopefully will have some pictures from the concert. I also have to get Jim that doctor's appointment SOON.

Love to you all. Keep praying and sending out positive vibes! Anything is appreciated!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Relay for Life is July 25

Hello all. We are doing just fine today. Sunny, light breeze, won a baseball game, and we have a family cookout this afternoon. We are enjoying today!

My cough is not worse, but still there. Andrew has the same cough so maybe we just have some allergy bug or something. I still have some chest discomfort but minimal. As usual, cancer continues to scare and loom, but as I tell myself, "I am not going to die today." It always sucks.

Cubs are winning. Another good reason to enjoy.

I need to make an appointment for Josh's driving test but I suppose he and I are going to have to go out and practice some more in my car.

I have a busy week this week--two doctors appointments (dentist is one) and two sessions of contract negotiations. I think I am back at work one month from tomorrow. Time has FLOWN.

I also have to get Jim in to a doctor. I think I may try to get him in to Johnny's internist, and then have him schedule the colonoscopy with the same doctor who did Johnny's. Jim has not been to the doctor in at least a decade I would guess.

Relay for Life is coming up...hope many of you can attend.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cough again--still--crap.

We had a nice storm this morning and I was forced to drug my dog at 6:00 this a.m. but went back to bed and slept until noon! Very rare for me but we all must have needed it as Jim just got back up too. Of course, he was out with the brothers carp shooting (don't ask) and didn't get home until almost 2:00. He said it was very fun and they laughed a lot. I hope it re-energized them to see that Johnny is the same Johnny and will remain so!

At the risk of sounding like a whiner, I am coughing chronically again. Been going on for about three weeks. You know how that scares me. I told myself to quit drinking ice tea (I think that bothers me) and that didn't help, and I thought going up north would get me away from what ever allergen was bugging me and that didn't help, and now I am home and it continues. I will say I do have the lovely PND from the sniffer, but I am not sure. I have my lovely annual exam on Thursday with my family doctor so I will mention it. I am absolutely terrified to have a chest xray so I hope he can just look in my throat and say "you have a cold dearie" and not insist on an xray.

Josh got Jim the funniest, most crude t-shirt from the Cubs game. Jim had to act like he thought it was the most hilarious thing on earth but says to me"where can I wear this?" Gotta love Josh.

Speaking of my Joshmeister, I didn't mention that he FAILED his driver's test up in the UP. I have permission to talk about this from him so I am not humiliating him without his knowledge but yes, he ran over a pylon in the parking test and never even got to go on the road. Those of you who have kids know the agony of this with a young driver. In his defense, he WAS driving the biggest car we own, the Suburban, so that was a big problem. But the sad thing is, in his practicing, he was doing so well...way better than many adults can park. He just sort of panicked. So, now we schedule one down here and he takes either my Malibu or Ginger's clown car. (it is really really small) Poor Josh.

As mentioned in previous UP blogs, we all paint bricks on the barn when we are up there and Josh painted a big red F on his...with a car driving over a pylon. I did a brick for Andrew that read Goshen College and also one for breast cancer--complete with my favorite phrase 'feel your boobies" and "save 2nd base." I should have taken pictures before we left.

Must get ready for a few grad parties today--and Andrew has two baseball games tonight, If I didn't mention it before, we have decided that his wrist is fine. Dr. B wanted us to do an MRI to see if the tendons were messed up but Andrew says they are fine so we cancelled. Hope it doesn't come back to haunt us. So he plays with the bone fracture that Dr. B said was nothing to worry about.

More later. Keep praying for good reports for Johnny and some calmness for the whole family. Thank you much for that!


Friday, July 10, 2009

The Fighting Toad

My brother-n-law Johnny was diagnosed with colon cancer two days ago. There are some spots on his liver as well. He turned 43 yesterday. Pam, who many call Mimi, has started a blog to keep us all posted. The blog is called www.the Please visit, say lots of prayers, and give them as much support as you have given me. We will have prayers around the world!

I am numb about all of this. I just can't stand to know what they are going through. Johnny is so strong so I am less worried about him than I am Pam and Ginger. Both are two of the strongest people I know--and I know will fight this--but it hurts me to know the pain they are feeling. No one should have to feel this way. It honestly feels like someone has kicked you in the stomach and you can't breath. They are at the oncologist right now so we will know more later. Ginger and John are on their way home from the UP on Sunday. Please please please send Pam your love via her blog--it was amazing how everyone's thoughts helped me heal.

We had a good week in the U.P. but I am not up to writing about it right now. I will be back.