b/j hug

state of health

Tap, tap, tap. Hello, is anyone still out there?
I have not posted in almost a year and half, and I can't believe it. It's been a busy year and a half.
Okay, so here we go:
First: The cancer came back in March of 2019. Turns out my left lung wanted a go at having cancer. I think it got a little jealous of all the attention the reproductive organs (now gone) were getting.

Two: They tried me on a drug trial April, May, and June. It was basically a chemo pill. The side effects for me were tiredness and extreme nausea. But it didn't work, so back to drugs-being-pumped-into-my-body chemo. I got a port this time so it was much easier and more comfortable receiving chemo than having my veins collapse.
Side effects: Diarrhea, mouth sores (lots of them), losing hair again, shortness of breath (the lung, remember?). The first time I was constipated and this time it was diarrhea. Oh, and they don't tell you this, but the same mucous membranes that are in your mouth are also in your rectum. Yes, I developed an abscess down there and a fistula. Both of those had to be operated on to allow them to heal, but I didn't have the operation until January. So September to January was hell to try to sit, and then it was hell to sit after the surgery in January for about a month. Since I'm on Eliquis (blood thinner), it takes longer to heal.

I guess the surgery in January should be number three. :-)

Let me tell you, when you have so many doctors and nurses look at your rectum over a four-month period, you just don't care anymore. Pull down my pants and spread them? Sure, no problem.

I had the traditional chemo from August to November, but I am on an IV therapy called Avastin. But I have noticed my cancer markers in my blood rising again. Normal is 0% to 35%. When I got off of chemo I was at 10% and have slowly risen to 20%. So if it keeps rising and gets out of the normal zone, back to chemo again; back to losing my hair again (3 times); and back to mouth sores and diarrhea. Oy vay!!

I hope everyone out there is being safe during these trying times. I don't know what the hell is with the American psyche. People here think after a few weeks, let's go back to normal. It doesn't work that way, folks. I'll have people crowd me in the supermarket with no mask on, and I tell them, hey, covidiot, I'm fighting lung cancer here. Back off!!

Oh, another thing happened. My mother was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's January of 2017. The doctor actually thinks it might have been going on for a year or two before the official diagnosis. Old people can be sneaky that way. I basically moved in with her to help her. She was good in the beginning, but November '19 to February '20 were horrible. It really progressed and my brother and I had her admitted to an assisted living memory care center. Of course, we admit her that morning, and they go into lockdown that afternoon. We have not been able to see her since last March. And, of course, I'm getting the guilt-trip messages when I call her. It does not let my mind rest easy.

I hope you all are being safe out there. And please pray that the asshole that is Trump gets voted out of office this November.

Peace and stay well!!
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christmas with gus

Merry Christmas to all . . . and a very late update on my condition. sorry

So a day late Happy Christmas wishes for everyone. We had a brown Christmas here in Maine this year, but no complaints from me. It was a very quiet, mild Christmas. Also, no complaints from me!

So now for my updated health, which I should have posted months ago:
(Reader's digest condensed version.)

* Yes, it was cancer
* Had three chemo treatments, tumors shrunk enough to take out tumors
* Had surgery on October 23, 2018
* Full hysterectomy is now considered day surgery; done laparoscopically
* After surgery, three more chemos, have my last one this Friday, the 28th
* Go on surveillance thereafter as the type of cancer I have/had can come back. The Doc did not say it definitely will, but can. So scans every six to eight months to check things out. To last about three years.
* Feeling great!! Nothing like a chemo diet to lose some weight! :-)
* Taste buds have definitely changed. Can't stand the taste of some things I used to love; love some things I couldn't stand before.
* Yes, lost all of my hair. I'm not going to dye it any more, just let the gray come on through! And it's damn cold in the wintertime with no hair! I don't know how some guys do it. I even wear a sleeping cap at night to stay warm.

So that about does it. Everyone keep fingers and toes crossed that scans show up negative over the next few years. That would be grand!

2019 has to be better than 2018!

b/j hug

My brush with mortality

So an interesting thing happened on July 9th. Was short of breath, thought it was all the humidity we had been having because of some chronic bronchitis, and the next thing I knew the EMT's were loading me onto a stretcher after I did a full face plant outside of the grocery store.

Turns out not the bronchitis but full on pulmonary emboli. That's plural, in both lungs. My oxygen levels in my blood were at 75. Who the hell knows how low it got when I passed out.

So 5 days in the hospital hooked up to blood thinners, and now I'm at my mother's on oxygen. I have gotten better, and I do feel better. I just need to get back to work, dammit!! I hate sitting around all day. Yes, I do exercise, but it's boring as hell.

Now they are trying to figure out where the clots came from. I have gone through menopause but they found my endometrium has started to thicken again. They are checking for cancer. Hope to know something on Wednesday. I say take it out. I don't have a need for it anymore.

I'm in good spirits, so please no woes are me type of stuff. I'm just worried about the damn money I'm losing not working!!

I'll keep y'all updated!

b/j hug

Play reccomedation

Good morning and happy Easter and Passover weekend.

I thought I would let any ljers left who live in NYC, or who may live nearby or are going to visit, about a wonderful play that premiered here in Maine two months ago and is now playing at the theatre at St. Clement's on 46th street. I believe I read on the site that it will be there until September, but double-check me on that. I might have read it wrong.

It is babbettes feast. It was adapted from the book by one of the actors. I believe they said in the talk back that it was going to be the same cast that we had here in Maine. It is a very sparse set, and by that I mean nearly nothing. The cast narrate and act the story. The actors play multiple characters.

Check it out for a wonderful theatre experience. I don't know the ticket prices there but they do have a website. Sorry I'm not attaching it, but just Google theatre at St. Clement's.

Hope everyone is well out there.

b/j hug

The Classics!!

Was doodling around on YouTube and found this clip. The editor who put it together is brilliant! I figure I know about 70% of the movies used in the clips. Growing up we never had cable, just four channels on our TV and I watched a lot of old musicals. I loved them. I love them even today. I would much rather watch an old musical than most newer films.

So whoever watches this, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I think I've watched this vid at least 10 times by now.


My fellow Americans

I am going to get on my political soapbox for a moment, so I hope you all bear with me.

If you aren't political, I can understand, but please let your congressman or woman know how you feel about the situation that's going on in Washington with our Dictator-in-Chief in residence. They won't know how you feel unless you contact them. I know some of our representatives go into hiding when they come home because they are too scared to face a lot of people. Well, they should be having contact with their constituents now because it is their vacation.

They need to remember that they are employed by us. We are their bosses and they need to be sent a Job Performance Evaluation in person or through e-mails or phone contact with their staff. Hopefully, and I say hopefully because I truly don't believe everything gets forwarded to them, they will take these messages to heart and remember country over Party.

Just keep in mind this quote by Martin Niemoller, a prominent Protestant pastor in Germany who spent many years in a concentrations camp:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was not one left to speak for me.

Okay, I'm now off my soapbox. I truly hope everyone is trying and accomplishing to have a good summer.
My thoughts are always with those out West experiencing all of the terrible wildfires. Please be safe.

tom brady

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs

I was very fortunate and a free ticket to see Alan Cumming landed right in my lap! My friend Carol's partner had the flu this last weekend (not good for her but good for me) so Carol offered me her ticket. So Saturday night we ventured out into the cold and had a wonderful, fabulous, splendiferous time!
Mr. Cumming is so charismatic. I can only imagine how he lit up the stage during Cabaret. It is a cabaret (not the play) style show with lots of singing and lots of fun and funny stories of his life, growing up, living in Scotland, going to school, dealing with Hollywood, and being on Broadway.
It if happens to ever come anywhere near your area, GO!!

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope my friends in California are keeping their heads above water -- literally!


P.S. And the Patriots winning the Super Bowl made our 5 consecutive snowstorms in 9 days with over 4 feet of snow tolerable!
christmas with gus

Season's Greetings!!

Hello out there everyone in cyber land!

I can't believe we're down to the last few weeks of the year that was 2016, much less a week away from the high holidays!

I think this is the first time I've checked LJ in almost two months. And where did those two months go?!
The lawyers I work with have been especially busy the last six weeks. Always this time of year they realize they have a shit load of stuff to get done before the year end -- and who pays for their procrastination? The court reporters, when they do last-minute depositions and then after you've taken testimony for four hours ask if it's possible to have that by tomorrow. No problem, I say. Who needs to sleep?? Sleep is so overrated! But at least I get to charge them A LOT of money for expedited transcripts!

Hope everyone out there is doing all right.

b/j hug

we are so fucked! and not in a positive life-affirming way

To my fellow citizens that voted for the asshole who claims he loves uneducated people -- and that's who voted for him -- thanks so much! Not only do we have to put up with a sociopath for the next four years -- wait, there's always impeachment and resignation if it comes to that -- but we also have the assholes he's surrounded himself with; namely, Gingrich and Guiliani who will probably find a place in his cabinet. God, I'm not thinking this through. If he has to resign, then we have Pence. He was the governor of Indiana, where they passed legalized discrimination against the LGBT community, and told women they would have to have a funeral for the fetus if they had an abortion.
I just don't get it. This man really scares me. He has the cult of personality just like Hitler, Musolini (sp) and Napoleon. I was going to throw Stalin in there, but he had the cult of terror. Well, maybe Trump will fall into that category, too.
To my fellow female citizens, kiss Roe v. Wade goodbye! You will no longer have control of your own body, if the Republicans have anything to say about it.



I don't know if any of you are aware of the above-referenced site, but I became a member just recently. It is free to become a member. Create your account, go through the profile and list what you like to read, and everyday you will get an alert for something you might find interesting ranging from free to $1.99. I have so far picked up a few freebies to read which I enjoyed.
Of course, since I didn't mention it, this is for electronic devices only. You can also pick which device you use as an e-reader so they know what books to refer from what source. I have a Kindle so I get all of my referrals from Amazon.
I do not know if this works for my friends overseas. I have a feeling not, but you never know. It may well work for you also.
Hope this was helpful to someone who loves to read as much as I do and has to budget themselves to purchase items to read on their e-readers.