Who Am I Today?

Every day when I awaken, I have to raise a rhetorical finger just to gauge the wind of my pain; how much will there be and how far will it push me around as the morning and afternoon progress. It varies from day to day, depending on many variables. I can logically understand two of those variables but many factors elude me and I think I will have to leave it to voodoo, faery dust or the position of the stars.
The two logical variables I can always rely on, whether I want to or not, depend on medication and the activities I have performed the day or two before. I’ve been on the chemotherapy drug, methotrexate for many years for my rheumatoid conditions and inject myself with it once every week. I know the day before I take it, I usually feel rotten. After I take it, I can count on that day being a bit of a bummer, also, while all the forces within me wait for the medication to do its thing. That leaves me with five days out of each week when I can feel moderately better than the two rotten days. That’s my life. Out of those five days, three are better and I usually try to schedule appointments, soirees and trips around the world on those days. I wish. Coming down to earth I’d have to say I’m usually scheduling some type of medical testing, a trip to the oncology office for two injections an IV or a doctor’s appointment with someone. Trips to the market are squeezed in there somewhere as my dear man, my husband Jim and I now go together because we both get hungry. His retirement last spring has unfortunately but somehow fortunately collided with my failing body.
Neither of us expected cancer. When I was discovered to have breast cancer in late March of 2014, we were both stunned. My first thought was “Oh come on, God, is this some kind of joke? Don’t I already have more than one human being should have?” My answer was a biopsy report followed by a unilateral mastectomy on April Fool’s day. Very funny, Lord. It seems most people didn’t want to be scheduled on that day whereas I just wanted that uninvited invader to leave my body as quickly as surgically possible. After a couple of weeks of recovery, I went through 6 weeks of radiation treatment to fry my chest and hopefully the surrounding lymph nodes. I was no Jane Russell or Madonna, but like most women, I wanted to have two, you know, for balance and clothing.
Since we live a hundred miles from the hospital where my treatments and physicians and surgeon are located, we lived in a motel with our little Yorkie during those weekdays, coming home on the weekends. A daily trip was out of the question because of my sacroiliitis which is, for those of you who don’t know, one of those rheumatoid conditions that makes sitting a miserable experience. A two-hundred-mile round trip is simply too much to bear once, and especially not five days consecutively. Therefore, we took Georgie, our Yorkie’s pee rug…don’t ask…with us and did what had to be done. Half of the six weeks were filled in by my wonderful grown children. They were reared by wonderful parents, I’m sure they must have been, because they sure are great. Both of them have a profession in an area of medicine, they also have compassion and a lot of love for their parents, and we are we grateful to be theirs.
Halfway through my radiation treatments, my husband saw our dermatologist at that same hospital and two large growths were found on his chest. The biopsy showed malignant melanoma and he had to have them removed. Since he is a nurse like me, he takes these things in great stride and joked all the way through pre-op and recovery. We actually had the same surgeon because she not only excels in breast cancer surgery but specialized in malignant melanoma as well. Somebody up above is always looking out for us and this time it wasn’t voodoo or faery dust. Oh, lest I forget, in there somewhere, due to osteoporosis, I fractured one vertebrae and crushed another. Those trips became even more difficult.
Now, three years later, we are older, thankfully or we’d be kaput. Jim still has a clean bill of health but my cancer is metastasizing. We have forestalled it for now with monthly injections in each hip and IV’s. Oddly enough, because I have seldom if ever been what is called “ordinary,” the mets went to my skin causing me to have tiny tumors of breast cancer all over my body. No, they don’t look like tiny breasts. Seems like they should. They just look like grains of rice with some as large as marbles. My oncologist explained to me most mets to the skin accompany a spread to another part of the body therefore I had CT scans and bone scans. Yep, he was correct. I have metastatic disease in most of my large bones. They appear as tiny dots and have been delayed from growing thus far, by the medications.
Beyond doing all we can medically, I have to keep asking myself each day who am I? My time, like yours, is valuable to me and to my family. How do I cope? Oh my, you surely know the answers to that by now if you have been reading my blog over these last 11 years. Google me at “Sue Falkner Wood” and you will find many subjects, methods and approaches but today I would like to share my favorites by sharing a bit of prose I wrote several years ago.

Living each day with pain and chronic illness
I find it helpful to keep it simple.
I like to think like a child,
Which I must admit comes easily for me,
Because it helps me
Find my way home, when I feel lost.

Some days I become a turtle,
Hiding beneath my shell
For safety, for shelter, for hiding out
From the rest of the world.
I don’t even answer the doorbell
On those days. It’s okay,
Turtles can’t reach the doorknob.

Other days I am darkness personified,
Cruella de Ville, watch out.
I am pugnacious, mean-spirited,
Ready to kick life in the teeth.
Is it revenge, anger or just some part of me
Reaching out to survive?
Knuckles white from hanging on?

So often, after darkly blue days
Life takes on a special meaning
And I feel like a seagull,
Flying high, soaring on the winds
Of life, as if pain free.

On those blessed days,
Life has a special sweetness,
A brighter light,
A melodic harmony,
A richer hue.

On those days, I rise,
I find the real me.
I am the me that soars
And transcends the pain
If only for a moment, an hour,
And if I’m blessed,
A day.

Who will I be today? Who will you be today? This day, today, is all I have. Today is all you have so cherish it, live it, love it, laugh at it and don’t forget to laugh at yourself. Watch a humorous movie, read a poem, laugh with a child or play ball with your dog. Get lost in a mystery, play a game online with a friend or paint a picture. It’s all about the actions, creating, producing or just doing a chore that will improve your life or home.
It’s far too easy to slide into maudlin melancholia when one lives with pain and illness. Try being a turtle on the days you must hide. Don’t be afraid to give Cruella de Ville some competition on those bad days. Get that cauldron of bad vapors released in a healthy way by howling at the moon, arguing with an understanding God, throwing darts at a copy of your latest lab work or writing a letter you never mail. Coping and dealing is often activity based. Action brings us that feeling of accomplishment that rewards the human spirit that is bruised from a body that is always or often in pain. I know you and I usually feel like lying down, resting or sleeping but we need to move, aspire, accomplish, give and be willing to receive.

113 thoughts on “Who Am I Today?

  1. Sue
    Such a timely post. I was trying to explain just that this morning to FM. He always asks me how I feel, and I say “okay”. He says that means not good. But, after pills, coffee and some prayer, I am ready to meet the day……usually. But the amazing thing is how we can adapt to this time of our lives. I let FM read your blog this am. He says you are a wonderful author, by the way. We really need to work on your book again. He applauds you for trying the cannbis and says maybe I need to. I had to explain, Va does not condone it, so….I am still waiting to hear about the Enbrel. A girl I went to school with has started it and says she has no pain now. We will see.
    We skipped church yesterday, I felt lousy. But the afternoon we went to look at some horses. Oh my …..I was in heaven ! In two pastures surrounded by herds of horses……beautiful Tennessee Walking horses. Just looking, later this week, we will try a couple out. They are, for the most part, maybe a little less worked with than I want. But I saw a palomino I would like, a gelding. Sweet disposition.
    But I have some other people looking for me as well. I would really like to get it while FM is here. ( one more week.😩). We are trying not to talk about it until the time is here, so not to be sad now.
    Chris, your seaside trip sounds great. It is 4 hours to the ocean here. So my trips are not as often as I would like.
    Lyn, how wonderful that you can help young ones on their career path ! But I hope you are recovering today and not in so much pain.
    I was reminiscing the other day. I was offered a music scholarship to Tennessee State but would have to teach to pay it back and I thought then I didn’t have that power. And later, at Austin Peay , I was offered the same in History. Only needed one year to complete. But two babies and a difficult marriage, I opted again to pass. Looking back. I would have taken the music. But no “sorries” as my FM says !
    Well, today is swim day. Then we are driving some miles back to the Fairy Stone Park in Martinsville, Va. only to get pancakes at a little diner there. He loved the ambiance of the place, back of a service station, watching the people. So, off we go.
    Still cold here, but warming up with the sun, thencomes rain, rain, rain, the weekendand next week.
    Judy has her surgery (hopefully) in the morning, so prayers please.
    Love to all

    • Tonie, so pleased you shared these words with your FM and hope it helped him to understand this way of life so many millions of us lead. Looking at horses with potential to own..I can’t think of anything you would enjoy more, well, almost anything. Sure hope you hear about the Enbrel soon so you can find out if you’re going to get some relief. Prayers they move quickly. Sorry to hear about the rain. I know how much you long for sunshine. I remember those. We had one yesterday and Jim finally had a chance to wash my car. Looks like we’ll be having rain all week.

      I do apologize to everyone if the blog was a bit more “down” than usual. I have been depressed and trying to pull myself up. Saw my new internist the other day because I wanted him to read the CT scan because I read that I have arteriosclerosis, not unusual, but especially bad in the carotids. He ordered an ultrasound for this week, Friday to check them out. I’m not worried about them but he asked me why my oncologist isn’t using chemo IV’s on me and that scared me. I told him I had to trust her and the one who moved because they were known to be good oncologists. When I got out to the car I told Jim, “I think he thinks I’m going to die.” It hit me hard and for me to react to a simple question like that is not like me. It’s been hard for me to get back to my “up” self. I’m still getting the chemo shots in each hip once a month and the IV to strengthen the bones for the osteo and for the dots of cancer mets I have in the bones. I must pull up my attitude…I must because that is an important part of my treatment. Don’t worry my dears, just pray. Love you much, Sue

  2. Sue
    I loved the bit where to think as a child and find your way home ….it made me sad and comfortable together ….parents ,,and my dad died a year tomorrow ….I’m having strange Dreams of a home somewhere
    You do seem to hit the spot for many of us each time……how do you do it,clever old you
    Sue..I’m a bit shook with what you said..I thought your bone scans were clear …..is this the question you wanted to ask the other day…it’s good they are kept down ..
    I remember you went to fairy stone park last time ….pancakes woohoo..I like mine with maple syrup and ice cream.sounds like FM is a people watcher . Me too
    What a busy time…few days of rest called for?

    • Chris, so sorry you are saddened right now, but how can you not be with the anniversary of your Dad’s passing. It’s still so fresh in your heart. As far as the cancer to the bones, I don’t believe I would have used the word clear, I just said no advancement or progression of it. That is what the nurse told me over the phone. When I saw the doctor and got a copy of the report it said there were a few more dots on the bones. My treatment has not changed and considering it has been three years, it hasn’t advance very quickly at all. The trigger they look for is if the skin tumors return and so far, they have not. Read my note to Tonie and you will see how I have to get over a bad spell emotionally right now…but I will. This new internist doesn’t know my history as well as the oncologist so I will continue to trust her and God.
      I hope your weather is warming for you. Must head out in the rain now to shop. Love you, Sue

  3. Dear Sue, Another coincidence. Back in 1980 my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer. A month later I was diagnosed with melanoma. We were luckier than you. We both beat it. My husband had a rough time with the chemo, but it worked..
    Starting another round of Physical Therapy today. It has helped before so have a positive attitude..
    Prayers and positive wishes for all. Love, Janet

    • Janet, Pleased to hear you and your husband got through the bout you did.I know he is now passed away and wonder how died. I hope you are doing well and are adjusting to the enormous changes you have had to make in recent years. I suspect you have your good days and bad. I like your attitude about PT and suspect you’re going to do well. Thanks for your always kind words. Love, Sue

    • Janet
      So good to hear from you. I did think of you standing in that pasture with all those mares milling around me. So happy your PT is helping. Keep on keeping on mama ! Ya know we love you !

  4. Sue, you are one of the strongest women I know. Even on your terrible horrible no good rotten days you are still fighting. I know sometimes that means breathing is what you can manage. I have had folks try to figure out what I have wrong with me and as things that can’t be easily explained. I try to say my immune system is trying to harm every part of my inside and out not just my bones like regular arthritis. I don’t pretend to have them understand, heck some days even I as a RN I don’t fully understand. I’m in California right now and will be for a bit. I feel better at this higher elevation for whatever reason. The drive of 2400 miles with my service dog Remi as my sole companion was grueling but so worth it. Making a few adjustments for the trip home.

    • Bobsled Laura, I am happy you have arrived in CA safely with Remi. I’ve been following you closely on FB and am pleased your journey is ended until the trip home. Such a long way on your own, unless Remi learned to drive and you didn’t share that bit of info. I know today was an emotional day for you and hope you’re okay. Do enjoy visiting with your good friends and seeing the country again. Looks like you missed out on some cold weather at home last week. Good planning.
      Perhaps the better weather, more sunny and springlike is also contributing to your feeling better. Indeed this whole rheumatoid business is crap, confusion and frustration not even to mention the ghastly pain. I know the trip must have been so difficulty but YOU DID IT. No chores, no worries but do enjoy.
      As for me, I’m just stubborn. I go through so much I can’t even tell a new doctor everything…there isn’t enough time and I fear overwhelming him/her. You know it’s true. I could certainly do without cancer and it’s malicious spreading but the meds have done pretty well for me as it’s been three years with some bone mets and skin but they keep telling me the shots will only work for about two years. Then we’ll have to go to something else. I plan to be the exception to that average of two years. There are so many mysterious variables with all of these diseases and at my age, awe, what can I expect? Actually, I guess that’s my problem. I keep expecting the best and to endure.
      You are also a fighter and that’s why you recognize another one. Love and wishes for a great trip, Sue

  5. Sue
    What a time you’ve had .i just was thinking all clear I suppose..but nevertheless it is good news that they have stayed the same . The oncologist knows you best and for a time now and all your history .so you should be restful in your trust there
    This bad spell Sue how you are feeling ….if I could wish it .pray it all away they are both done.

    • Thanks Chris, it means the world to me to have friends like you. I am blessed with a great guy and loving kids. How are things going for you and with the house? Is the cherry tree planted? Is the deck all okay? How that offensive odor? any progress on the stinky business?
      Another American series Jim and enjoy a great deal is called RIZZOLI AND ISLES. It’s a cop show but a humorous one and well written. I think you would like it. Had seven seasons and went off the air a few months ago.
      Love you, Sue

  6. That was a bit of a shock Sue as I thought your last FB post was an all clear. But no new advancement is still pretty good news. You’re in my thoughts and prayers often (much more often than I manage to post here!)
    I am in the middle of the worst Fibromyalgia flare I’ve ever had (I think?); was already flared a week ago and got a deep tissue massage. Apparently I misunderstood my PT and thought that’s what I was supposed to do. Nope- she said leave the deep tissue work to her and supplement with “fluff and buff” (very light massage) to create a “gating effect” for pain management.
    The uptick in pain set off a cascade of anxiety and insomnia which further increase pain, so the vicious circle continues… Grrr! Prayers would be much appreciated. 🙏🏼❤️ I think the high doses of steroids I had for bronchitis in Dec/Jan may have tanked my serotonin levels to hell… thus the ^ anxiety.

    Side note to Chris: They say (whoever “they” are) that the first year after loss is hardest. I’m finding this second year after losing my mom to be much harder. Her birthday in February nearly undid me… so I understand to some degree what you’re feeling and will say an extra little prayer for you tonight. My sisters were here visiting this weekend and it was a very sweet and fun time but also a bit “up-in-your-face-reality” that Mom is really gone.
    Love yo all, Princess 👸🏻 (especially) Crabby Pants.

    • Annie dear, you have my prayers for insomnia, pain and anxiety. I am so sorry to hear you’re in such a bad spell. I can’t even begin to imagine anyone giving me a deep tissue massage, I’m afraid I’d have to kick them right in their what’s its if they tried. How painful that sounds. Rest, use some of you fine oils for comfort, heat and do it all over again. Are you able to work right now? If so, please be careful and put yourself and own well-being out there for once.
      Pleased you got together with your sisters but can only imagine how much of a hole you all felt with your dear Mom no longer with all of you. Hope spring is arriving in TX and it helps your body and spirit. Hugs. Love ya, Sue

  7. Sue
    My friend, you know I am here for you whenever you need me, don’t hold back because I have company. My prayers with you always. And it is okay to be down after all that. And I know you will wallow a bit, then get up and shake yourself off and get on with it. Yes it is part of your treatment. All of our treatments, to find the good and hold on to it. God is good, and an on time God. He never leaves us to fend for ourselves.
    My FM has studied FMS ever since he found out I have it. Not so much the RA, but they go hand in hand. He knows the worse and knows I need rest, more than he. And he knows I need to move as well. I created a monster with the Fitbit. He loves that thing.
    He got his pancakes and some gravy with them Chris. I had a hotdog, so good with homemade chili and Cole slaw. Then we went on to see Martinsville, and Basset ( where they make the furniture) they even have a Wyerhauser lumber mill there, Sue. We ended up at a mall looking again (ugh). Then stopped for ice cream on the way home.
    Sue, I hope your shopping trip was good and you got yourself some goodies to eat. Sometimes a spurge is a good way to cheer up !

    • Tonie, oh my, pancakes and gravy? You’re going to send that man back to France with higher cholesterol for certain. He sure does love to eat. Lucky him. Sounds like a fun outing for both of you. Basset used to make such great furniture, don’t know if they still do. Indeed I shopped for fun food today for myself, with lemon yogurt, cherry yogurt, my favorite grapefruit called Oro Blanco, salted caramel topping and two new ice creams and my favorite granola called maple pecan crunch, made south of here.
      I love your stories about FM and the Fit Bit. So cute. Please tell Judy I will be praying for her surgery to be a big success and an easy recovery. Are you guys taking her? I know you’re always there for me and do great appreciate it. Some things have to be worked through alone for a day or two. Love, Sue

  8. Sue
    No, Judy’s friend and her husband took her. Insisted ! And she is staying with them for recovery time. We will go down to see her tomorrow after the effects wear off. We spoke about it and she asked me not to come and sit all that time, just let them call me. So, beautiful day here. Some work to be done, but a little resting in between.
    FM, as usual has a full plate planned.
    I have a screw in my tire from his working and must get it repaired this week. It kept going down, now it has stopped but we found the screw yesterday. Bad Frenchman ! Now tires too.
    Well, finish my coffee and get my chores done.
    Love ya

    • Tonie, very pleased to read Judy got through a successful surgery. Good. Relieved to hear your FM isn’t perfect and got a screw in the tire. It just didn’t seem fair otherwise. He’s done so much it’s hard to imagine how much he could accomplish if he lived there full time. Pray that day will come soon for both of you.
      Sounds like so much is happening as well as all the lookie loo at the malls and shops. I wonder what he finds most interesting? Surely hope your knee is behaving.
      Lazy here, not much going on this week except ultrasound and George is getting groomed. He’s beginning to look a bit too furry.
      Sun shining this afternoon which always helped the spirit a bit. Hungry for spring. Have to get to the nursery to replace some frozen plants on the very dirty porch. Our money puzzle tree which is huge loses branches and pine type leaves/needles every time the wind blows. Should get it groomed as well as the dog except it’s very expensive because the guys have to use the truck with a lift on it. Tree about 80 feet tall. Glad to get my own computer back and spending quite a bit of time trying to get things back where I”m used to them being.
      I’m okay, Tonie. I just have to keep from getting depressed when people, even doctors, offer me too much sympathy. I think it is well meant but not my thing. Now empathy is a totally different thing. It also takes awhile to get used to any new doctor and I have two right now. The re pore that develops between a doctor and a patient takes time to grow as well as the mutual respect.
      I know this week is important to both of you so hope you enjoy it. Love, Sue

  9. Isn’t our language strange the same but it ain’t ….like you spell tire and over here it’s tyre…odd . There’s a few others too ,can’t think of at moment
    Anyway Tonie hope your sister is ok and picks up quick and not too uncomfortable
    And we kept getting screws in our tyres when we moved had three happen…wierd
    Also I must look up,where u went to last..got side tracked today
    Thankyou for your words..and prayer
    Your right it’s doing the normal stuff and realising the gap that’s there then.,the space left nothing can fill
    The second year I’ve to come now..somehow it’s upsetting that the time gone is further away.
    I do hope this fibro latest gets a kick in the pants and shoves off..my prayers for this for you too
    Oh yes Tonie
    What’s gravy with pancakes…never had that..a savoury pancake I think…what sort of gravy..I’m a fan of thick gravy.dont like the stuff that is like water and sticks to nothing
    Cherry tree doing ok more flowers
    Decking ok
    Water board came today and cleared the main sewer.but thought it was my pipes I’m responsible for but covered with ins..so the air seems fresher in the bathroom so I’ll wait for two weeks and see….sometimes the smell can go away for that long.if it comes back sooner I’m on the phone!
    Again another prog we don’t get here..maybe it will come they usually do
    How are you feeling today?
    Well waiting for a desk chair for DH they’ve phoned and be here soon.wonder of all will be ok there..another new thing to go wrong….
    Ok back later to tell the tale

  10. I would say this is inspirational beyond words, but because I know you it is so much more. Blessed, heartbreaking, heartwarming, bittersweet, seriously sad, devastating, heartlifting, heartwarming, beloved & hopeful & again..blessed. Thank you for giving us so much, sharing yourself with us. I, like so many others, love you dear Sue & am so blessed to have you as a friend. Great respect, love & prayers, Terry

    • Terry, I also feel fortunate to have you as a friend. You and your pics of family and all the things you post on FB are always so good. Your sense of humor often runs along with mine. I do apologize for the heaviness of this blog. I tried to make it a lighter one but this is what kept coming through. I always try to write from the heart and be true to what I feel and am experiencing but often life is just that, too heavy. I think spring will help in so many ways. Always appreciate the prayers so much, love to hear from you sweet girl. Love, Sue

      • Dear Sue, please don’t ever stop sharing all your heart, including the heavy. Your willingness & ability to be real with us is part of what makes your blog so honest & refreshing, relatable. Hope you have a restful night dear, God bless you & your hubby. X O

  11. Chair came and we put old one in Garage..after 30 mins changed over again.new one smelt of chemicals.whole room smelt then it seemed thru the house.chest and eyes burning ,,they can come and pick it up ..it’s the fire retardant apparently gassing off..well another blimmin thing with a problem .cant seem to get anything without hassle…..
    Anyway it’s small fry in the scheme of things….dentist tomorrow…..
    Yes terry the blog was all those words
    Ok gonna carry on coughing and drops in eyes..Windows all open and its 2c..house smells .funny tho it’s not the sewage smell tonight .

    • Chris, darn it! I wish these things would stop happening to you. DO you think the chair would air out in the garage for a week or so? When I got a lovely display case several years ago from Jim’s Mom when she passed, it smelled from strongly of cigarette smoke. Of course, that wouldn’t work for my nose or breathing like you so I kept wiping it down with white vinegar Basic H (that product from Shaklee that Tonie sells)and kept a fan going overhead. It took a couple of weeks and there is still a hint of it when I open the glass doors.
      I hate that you have to go through this with the eyes and throat but certainly understand.
      As far as the language differences between our countries, the only ones I can think of at the moment are the ones ending in er and re, like theatre and theater; many more I’m sure. Later, Hope you’re able to sleep tonight. Love, Sue

    • Chris
      Leave it I need the garage and let it air out for a week or so. Try some Febreeze on it to take away the smell. I have done this with so many things of late. Seems all our things come from China these days. Even some yarn I had lately. Just let the air get to it and see what happens. So sorry it did that to you. Hang in there mama !

      • Yea this chair was made it china…febreeze good idea but won’t do just yet incase the store won’t take it back. It wasn’t a cheap thing either. I read something about their chemicals they put in furniture too.

  12. Janet, thank you for answering my question about your husband. I’m sorry he died suddenly. I really sometimes wonder which is best…the time to say goodbye or a sudden loss. I’m afraid I may have stirred up some sorrow, and I am sorry for that. Think of you so often in S. Texas. Love you, Sue

  13. Morning all
    Busy busy day yesterday. We took the Jeep and moved out the two big rolls of hay out in the field and roll them out. They were bad and at least they can seed the field or the birds will eat the seeds. FM got in over 28,000 steps yesterday ! He said can you imagine how many steps the farmers of old put in ?
    Well, mystery solved about the referral to the spine Dr. The pain Dr has told his nurse he never told me that or was going to refer me ! He is no longer there and they are getting a woman Dr in, so going back the end of April to get meds refilled and speak with them about my back once again ! Argh ! Meantime……back at the ranch ! Haha ! Remember those old westerns ?
    Chris, I know some words of ours are the same but spelled different, we call it “old English” spelling. The pancakes he got are just flour, eggs, a little sugar, baking powder and buttermilk. Then served with butter and syrup. He barely puts any syrup on them anyway, but the gravy was just a pepper gravy and was medium thick, and he cleaned his plate, as always !
    We are going down to visit Judy this morning, after gettting the tire repaired, and there are a couple of shops there he has never seen. Little town of Pulaski, Va. Named after Count Pulaski, who helped us in the Revolutionary War. Not much there anymore due to shutdowns and overseas operations. Makes me so sad to see the shells of the towns after this happens.
    Sue, the knee was throbbing last night, so I iced it down. Went to close up the chicks last night and they were camping out in the hay and three were behind the bldg. so FM is up there closing up that entrance. We also have a huge tomcat that is hanging around. I think he is looking for scraps, but FM is afraid he will go after the chicks. I told him toms are too lazy to hunt, they will take the kill away from the females when they bring it home. Haha ! Used to happen with ours growing up.
    Sue, I understand about the “sympathy/empathy. I don’t like sympathy either. I will cry if someone is “too nice”. And I don’t like to do that.
    Well, I have written another dissertation, so will close.
    Love to all

    • Tonie, having you quote old movies made think of another appropriate lyric from a rotten old song…remember…”How you gonna keep them down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?” I think your case the opposite should prove to be true.
      I answered Chris first today because of the incident in London. Another savage without a brain. So bitterly sad when the innocents are always the ones who suffer.You’re just inspiring all sorts of puns for me today, so you and your FM have been out making hay, rolling in the hay, etc. It truly does sound like a miserably hard task for the body. You’re certainly giving me a good idea of what a change his life will be, eventually.
      How frustrating it is to be waiting for an appt. that was never called in. Grrr! Many frustrations to be stumbling blocks along the way it seems. I have to have an ultrasound tomorrow of my carotids. Pray all goes well, okay?
      Do hope you got to see Judy and she is doing well first day post-op.
      Did you get in anymore horse shopping? Do you ever watch that vet on TV, Dr. Pol? He’s out of Michigan and his show is so full of large animals and many horrifying, interesting and disgusting things he does to and for them. Lots of vet shows on TV and we enjoy them except when I’m eating…Jim can eat through any amount of blood and guts, not me. Strange for a nurse for then again, I never ate on the job.
      You’ve been such a good sport about all the window, shop shopping. I think it’s cute but would have sat own a long time ago.
      We’ve been watching MERCY STREET. Have you seen it? It’s a special series from PBS about the US Civil war and I think you might like it. They are starting their third season soon. Also saw that CALL THE MIDWIFE is starting a new season first week in April. Love that show. Well, eyes failing but stop for a while. Love, Sue

      • Sue
        Yes, prayers for good results for you today. Judy was sitting in her chair eating lunch when we got there, very perky and okay. I took her a chocolate milkshake, which made her smile more. Some graham crackers and moon pies. She asked for the grahams cause she will not always eat, but I know she loves the others so , better to have both when you can’t get either ! The Dr told her she might get released today, but I think not. The drain wasn’t even out yet. FM got her a pot of flowers that were all bulbs to be planted. She really liked those.
        He found crossiants yesterday ( pronounced “qua-sant” hah) and has eaten almost all of the box ! He had to have one before we got out of the store !
        Yeah, lots of hay rolling going on haha ! Not hard for me, I was driving the Jeep !
        Now I have to go get the tire repaired. Not new ones Lyn, I already have them. It was just that it is a new tire and now with a puncture.
        So, a good day to all

  14. Sue, you must stop apologizing for being depressed. We’ve all been there. I, and others, find this blog speaks to us. This is what we often can’t effectively share with others who have not walked in our shoes. You are human, and as stated earlier, one of the strongest humans I know. I know, why does life seem to pile on the strong ones. I’ve asked that question a time or two when I have felt overwhelmed and/or depressed. Your message and poem speak to me. And, as soon as I read your concern about the intern I thought, yes, but he can’t possibly know the whole history. I’m betting the oncologist knows more. Turns out as I read comments, I was right on track. I know you know this, too, but the shock of the moment of “realization” surely blinded you for a bit. That’s ok, too. Roll with the punches and we will roll right along with you. Hang in there, my friend!

    Tonie, I was happy to see on FB that your sister’s surgery went well. Glad you are spared being caregiver while you try to enjoy your time with FM. I know, you would gladly do it, but nice to have your time more free and flexible. Sorry you have to spring for new tires. 😦 My sweet little convertible will need new brakes and tires for inspection. Who knows what else they will find. It goes in next Monday. SB already researched the best all season tires that will perform well, but last longer than the last set. I trusted the Audi service people and while they performed great, they didn’t last nearly long enough. Tires are ordered so they will be ready to go at the garage when the car goes in. SB is saving up for brakes and tires on his little Miata. He needs both and a bumper and headlight at least. Ugh. Always something. Happy horse shopping! What fun!

    Chris, oh those fumes! I hate when items have that off-gassing. I wondered the same as Sue if it could have aired out in the garage for a while. I know we’ve done that with certain things. My grandfather’s desk was much like Sue’s inherited piece. Full of cigarette smoke smell. It did get better. In damp conditions you can occasionally smell a bit of something, but not nearly what it was.

    Annie, oh my. I am so sorry you got the deep tissue. I hurt just thinking about it. Now, there are places on me where I could benefit from it, but there have been times when it would do to me pretty much what it did to you so I can get a glimpse of what you are going through, though not truly. Be good to yourself. Those prayers are continuing.

    Still recovering a bit from all that sitting. Progress I had made in muscle release were set back from it, so am finding myself uncomfortable more often than I’d like. Getting ready to give the pup a short walk. It has cooled off again here – back to temps in the 30s. I am hoping I can release a bit more during our walk. I may not be able to do so if it is too cold. We’ll see. All the talk about skin cancer reminded me, I had another skin biopsy last week. Waiting to see if it is of any concern. No news will be good news. Here’s hoping! Caught very early, so even if it is something, it should be more easily dealt with. Hopefully just a false alarm. Best to all!

    • Yes I hope it’s a false alarm Lyn and all clear..but as you say caught early .thats why its best to go for the false alarms each time
      The chair is in the garage.and the store had booked to take it back Monday ..or later if I want to cancel that .even DH eyes were burning today.
      Hope you hit to enjoy the walk

      • Oh, good, Chris, I hope airing out does the trick. If not, back it goes! I can’t stand off-gasses/fumes. We did have a good walk. A short one, it was blustery!

    • Lyn, what a nice long comment today. I answered you finally on the last blog. Just found it today at all the sitting. Oh, you have my empathy on that. Thank you for your remarks to me today. I think I apologize because the purpose of my blog has always been to encourage, inspire and motivate. When I feel I am not doing that it upsets me. By the way, the new doctor is an internist, not an intern. He’s had ten years of practice and I thought he would know more than my PCP. I’m sure he does, in fact. We just have to get use to each other. When one looks at my medical history/chart the first time or two, it is a bit overwhelming.
      What a shame you have to expend so many funds on tires. Is there anything more boring yet more important for safety, especially in your weather.
      I surely hope you are feeling better after all the travel and sitting. It can take awhile and uses different muscles than you use while walking plus that feeling…it’s a strange feeling I often get when I stand too long or sit too long like the top half of my body is heavily pushing down on the pelvis.
      I pray the answer to you skin spot will be no news. Here’s hoping. I know Jim has said for years our dermy is trying to get rid of him one tiny scoop at a time.
      How is your niece who moved out this way to Vancouver, WA feeling and have they adjusted?
      Eyes giving out again…Later, Love, Sue

  15. Chris, sorry the chair still stinks and is irritating both of you. If it’s expensive, I think I’d send it back also. Toxicity, especially from China is something we all, with immune problems and everyone, should watch. I’ve learned to watch dog toys and food possibly from there and do away with them and you’re right, the fabrics and stuffing are often not of western standards. My situation with the stinky furniture was a bit different because it was tobacco odor and permeation into the wood and because it had been in the family, was worth saving. It was interesting with tobacco and all its components always left the cleaning rag yellow. It took awhile but finally did come away.
    Rain here today, big surprise. Using the cannabis oil drops twice a day, half of the recommended dose and it seems to be helping somewhat. I’m not convinced just yet. When I try two squirts or drops I get too sleepy and am useless. It is the pure stuff without any of the hallucinogenic component in it, pure CBD. I’ll have to write a long comment about it on FB for everyone to see but wanted to share this with you today. Love you, Sue

  16. Chris, I wrote to you first today to say how saddened I am by what has happened in London today. Prayers for the families of those killed and injured and the poor officer. How awful. Sue

  17. Yes Sue isn’t it awful
    DD goes there so regularly and into Westminster too where it was.but she was a different place today in London and on way home when I got intouch with her
    Those poor people and school children there too.one woman was thrown into the Thames with that car. That poor policeman
    As well all those people helping each other it was heart rendering

    • Chris dear, it’s my fault for answering you and Lyn on the last blog because I just found both of your entries. That’s the only mix-up I see. Yes, it’s all so terrible in London. Our news in SKYPE news had a witness who saw the woman in the river and I thought she must be gone but then they announced later they pulled her out and she was alive..a relief. I guess there are reasons to be grateful it was only one radical animal and not more. Thank God your DD was not there in Westminster region. Every day is to be cherished, Sue

  18. Chris
    So sorry about all the happenings there again. We were leaving the hospital and saw it on the tv there. Stopped to take it all in. The world has gone crazy ! So glad DD was not in harms way ! Praying for all the families of killed and hurt loved ones.

  19. Many prayers have and continue to go to London. How awful. Chris, I am so glad your DD was not there and is safe.

    Sue, sorry, did I write intern? Yes, I did realize he was an internist. Typo, unfortunately.

    Well, today has been a mixed bag for me so far. I was up bright and early to go to my regular 6 mo visit to the eye doc to be checked for my plaquenil meds. He now has me have a series of 3 tests to check for toxicity in addition to the exam. He said everything looked fantastic and asked what it is that I’m doing. I thought he was just being funny or charming, but he really meant it. He wanted to know how it was that my eyes looked this good and was doing well. He even said I may be able to go a year between tests rather than his usual 6 months. I was feeling pretty good. I got out to the car and saw I had a message which turned out to be the dermatologist office asking me to return the call. Biopsy results are back – it’s more skin cancer. So… it will be removed and sutured up next Wednesday. Hopefully, I can have the procedure and stitches out in enough time to recover for the first my 3 spring performances. Last time I recall my body giving me royal trouble. So much for getting a break this time. Oh well. Of course, it is right near my collar bone and neck. So, I’ll probably need to be sporting a band-aid over a nice bright red scar for all concerts. That should be interesting. If anyone asks, I’ll be happy to share the importance of sunscreen from an early age!

    Now off to see Sue’s reply on the last blog. I probably should have looked there before commenting here.

    • See, I should have checked there first! Sue, I use Systane drops, too! I prefer them over the Refresh. I use the Systane Ultra if am a bit dry, the Systane Restore if feeling really dry, or more often feeling dry. 🙂

    • Lyn, Do you know what kind of skin cancer it is this time? I am sorry you have to do it yet again and hope the dressing is off before your performances. If anyone asks you can always come up with a good, juicy excuse and blame it on your DH for a laugh. Tell them he still gives one heck of a love bite. It is my serious hope it isn’t too invasive in that particular spot. Not much extra skin there to stretch to cover after they have underplaned. I know Jim had the one on his skin between the upper lip and his nose. Had to call in a plastic surgeon for that one. It’s a whole new ballgame when it’s plastic surgery by thousands of dollars but you do get beautiful results. Our insurance covered it.
      Just a note and an opinion from this blogger…keep going to check your eyes every six months. Mine went to once a year a few years before I had such severe damage as I have now. glad you’re doing so well. It was my peripheral vision that went first. Just looking out for you when I can. Mine were fine just the year previously.
      Hope your sitter has recovered. I’m sure part of the reason you are doing well is all the effort you put into exercise each day.
      Take care and let us know when and how it goes. Love ya, Sue

  20. Lyn
    Thankyou for your prayers for the situation here ..it sure needs them
    My prayers for you for Wednesday .good job you went to have it looked at
    I’m gonna try the systane drops see if they will be better for me than viscotears

    Went to physio today have some very mild exercises to do.she put my crutches better for me .
    Ok shorty bossy eyes tired

    • Chris, I didn’t realize you use crutches. Is that something you do on a regular basis? So how the stinky chair doing?
      Hope most of your joints are behaving especially knees and hips. Prayers and concern continue for your country…and ours. Love, Sue

      • I use them about 30pc of time.when it’s all bad.need two as too much pressure on my one shoulder.
        Chair still in garage still smells when up close…but unsure as it’s sort of in a big area in the cold,will bring it in tomorrow to see
        Joints not very good at moment
        So much bravery amongst that cowardice ,stark contrasts….evil and such good

  21. Chris, I know these kinds of hateful, remarkably senseless assaults are so insane but your great nation has such a wonderful history of prevailing. I pray your joints are better tomorrow or for you this morning in a few hours. Love you and prayers for you to get out of this current bad painful place.
    I am extra miserable tonight from the waiting and table for the ultrasound of my carotids today. Expect the results to be fine. Love, Sue

  22. Sue
    I thought the ultra sound was for Friday…got it wrong
    .so much laying on tables for you this month.does the canabis help now with this extra pain.
    Thinking of you
    Joints could be better,had to do a shop early evening and everywhere aching..it’ll go

    • Chris, Dr. called with results this AM and carotids are fine. Relief…something that works. Hope you feel better as the day progresses. Can’t decide if the cannabis oil drops are helping or not. I’ll let you all know when I can figure it out. Love, Sue

      • Good news, Sue!
        I will be cautious going forward with the eyes. Not sure if diet and exercise helps with them, but if so, that may be why. Probably exercise more than diet as I confess I cheat diet wise probably more than I should. Although the minute I feel poorly I do buckle down, so perhaps some diet. As for the skin cancer, no whomever I spoke with didn’t mention which variety. I am sure doc will tell me when I go in. He always does. I just have to remember to ask him to send this info to my rheumy. I try to make sure he knows of every occurrence as it plays a hand in our medicinal approach.

      • Yes good news sue..infact a typo came up ..golden news..and it is
        Brought that chair in again..two hours and it was doing its thing again..so back in garage and collected on Monday
        ON Sunday DD is picking us up and travelling to meet GS and having a meal together .she is buying steak new pots and salad and cooking it there..I can eat meat and pots and lettuce.its Mothering Sunday here this weekend and also the clocks go forward here
        Gives nice day tomorrow.. got to put some trellis up for security on walls

  23. Lyn, Yes, occasionally I do get good news. Feels good for a change. As far as the eyes, it’s not diet or exercise it’s the toxicity levels once can reach I was on Plaquenil a long time. My current eye doc figured out how much when she found the damage and told me how far over the toxic level I was. She called my rheumy and told her and she said stop immediately. Then when I saw my rheumy she said why didn’t they catch this sooner and I said, annual exams and a doctor I thought was good who apparently wasn’t. She was only at my eye clinic for a couple of years but I don’t think her heart was in it because she’s now on some medical mission overseas. The current gal doc is great. Soooo all that to say keep them checked because my peripheral vision is shot forever.
    Now as far as you looking good, indeedy I’ll bet that is diet and exercise. I think it’s a great idea for all of our docs to get reports from our others. That’s really why I needed a new internist to co-ordinate it all.
    Raining like mad out here today. Just picked up George from the groomer then took him to Petco. He’s admired wherever he goes that little charmer. He got all sorts of new things. New diet food, new Kong and you should see the ones he uses, they’re so tiny. We keep losing them or rather George does. Also got him a new shirt because he gets cold all year long. He wears a sweater every day. Some woman asked us where we had him groomed and I knew the clerk who was helping us was a groomer for Petco so it was awkward but I was honest and she said go ahead and tell the customer..it’s okay. He does look really cute right after he’s freshly groomed. Well, I’m sure I’m boring you with George news. Love ya, Sue

  24. Chris, sorry about the new chair but not surprised. Maybe you can find one made near you. Mothering Sunday sounds wonderful. I’m assuming it’s like our Mother’s Day. Lovely meal prepared by DD and get to see GS? Good all the way around. Hope joints are extra well that day. Spring should arrive soon. Love, Sue

    • Chris, I second Sue’s sorry about the chair – not surprised, and Mothering Sunday. Looks like I will be cooked for this Sunday, too. It is my birthday, and we just learned we will be meeting DD’s new beau that day as well. Either DD or DH must be taking care of dinner. They were texting back and forth for a while. Fine by me. I cook enough around here. 🙂 Enjoy your meal! And your time together, of course.

      • Happy early Birthday, Lyn. I think having others cook for you is so wonderful. The last few years Beth and SIL have cooked most of Thanksgiving with me doing a dessert and vegie. I love it, Christmas, too. Oh goodie, you get to meet the new guy in DD’s life. Is it your 29th birthday? How about if we count birthdays from now on in spirits, not bodies. Much love, Sue

  25. Hello all
    Busy day, very busy, but a wonderful sunny warm day. AND…..I have a new horse ! A beautiful sweet black mare with three white stockings. A Tennessee Walker. We both need some work but she has the makings of a wonderful trail horse. Red is already smitten. A sad lady and her husband we got her from. I was very stressed being around them. But she felt sure about me having her. So she is out in the pasture finding her way, and I am just coming down from cloud nine !
    I also got approved for the free Enbrel and it will be here Tuesday, so I will start it next week.
    Chris, I had no idea you were having to use crutches. So sorry. Maybe the PT will help more with that. I got in a short swim today , but it was still good.
    Lyn, hope you had the warm weather we had. It is supposed to co to use, so maybe spring is really here ?
    Night all

    • Tonie, Well, Howdy. You got your birthday present. She sounds gorgeous. I think it’s wonderful that if…her previous owners had to give her up, it’s wonderful that it is you. I’m happy for you and her. Bet FM is pretty pleased, also. Now tell me you’re not going to give her a French name like Gigi, or Antoinette. After all, she is a Southern girl and she sounds outstanding. What a fine day for both, or should I say all four of you…you, FM, new lady and Red.
      Good about the Enbrel and am anxious to see how you will respond to it. So pleased to hear you so happy. Kiss him for me and say thanks for making my dear friend so happy. Love ya, Sue

  26. Sue
    No, not a French name for this gal. Her name was Sweet Pea, and I will keep it. It fits. She is easy going and intelligent. Poor FM woke up with a bug this am. His respiratory is in a fritz and he isn’t feeling well. He had a throats thing yesterday but said it was from the hay dust. Still could be, but it is making him feel bad today. Hot tea and honey, maybe some horse penicillin . Works for me.
    I found the horse in a local free ad magazine. I just felt like getting one, and there she was. Funny how these things happen.
    I told FM we have to make a sign for our little farm Two Old Horses, only in French. He liked the idea.
    Hope all is well with everyone today.
    Love to all

    • Tonie, I’m sorry to hear your FM isn’t feeling well. Hope it is just from the hay dust yesterday. Lots of fluids. If it’s a virus, penicillin is not a great idea. Too early. I know you both want him to feel well to travel. Lots of juices and VIt C to improve the integrity of the mucosa and hot steam may help to clear the airways. Hot showers, too.
      Saw the pics of Sweet Pea…she is beautiful. I love the idea of the farm sign at the entrance. Oh happy day.
      Prayers for health for both of you right now. Love, Sue

      • I second Sue’s thoughts on course of action for FM’s throat and such. Probably best until you know for sure the cause. Sorry. I know a faster recovery is preferable. fwiw I must look or pics of Sweet Pea! None showed in my Feed yet. Congratulations!! We had a beautifully warm day yesterday. Today is to be cooler.

        Sue, thanks for the birthday wishes! 29 would be about right in my mind – well, when I’m not foggy brained! – but my body far outlives my mind this weekend. 😦 I’ve managed to flare. I knew my period of feeling better was too good to last. Oh, well. I enjoyed a short time with less aches and pains and less fatigue. I was kinda waiting for the shoe to drop, to be honest. Time to hit the shower and grab a bite. I’m having some time with DD this afternoon, then we are all together and get to meet the beau for dinner. It should be a good day.

  27. Morning all
    How is everyone ? Another warm day with rain instore. FM is worse today. But of course, yesterday he spent a few hours cutting brush ! Thanks for the advice guys. We just want him better for his flight. Long enough let alone being sick, plus he gets airsick. This morning is Echinacia tea and vit c
    So off to church alone and let him rest. Pray I don’t get it also. Then I will have to delay starting the new meds.
    We went out for dinner last night, wanted to go to The Log House, in Wytheville. But they were packed. It sure did smell good. Lots of travelers stop there on their way through. The house was built in 1765, I believe and it is log. It was just a residence when I lived here.
    Ended up at Applebee’s. And I had a steak ! I never want steak, but it was so good.
    Sue, I hope your new RA is helping more. Lyn, we have warmer temps and rains coming in. 70’s tomorrow. Chris, how goes it ? Bsl, hope you are enjoying your trip.
    All have a good day

    • Tonie, talked to you on the phone instead. Still can’t believe you ate a steak but there are time I crave one as well.Hope FM feels better for the journey home. No, you’re not allowed to catch it. Love you, Sue

  28. Lyn, What kind of a birthday is that? I am sorry the crash came today. I hope you felt up to the dinner and got to be with family and meet DD’s new friend. Lie low as much as possible and come up only when you must. Happy Birthday once again. Do take care of you. Love, Sue

  29. Hya all
    Busy weekend here
    Went to see GS ,DD picked us up ..but we stop at a mall on the way….DH went for a coffee whilst DD and I roamed..I treated us both and we had a lovely time .she has put some weight on whilst having a dad shoulder and it was nice to see her enjoy new clothes.i bought some too. It was such a ridiculous good time..so we planned on going there for a day having breakfast and dinner ..we were laughing so much
    Daft but good
    DD cooked a meal at GS he looked better than before more smiley ..says a lot
    So that was yesterday on Saturday we were busy in the garden it was a lovely sunny day with a nice evening…..so today feel good after a high! Weekend
    Unfortunately DD shoulder not so good after trying clothes on ..
    But she is going to Amsterdam for Easter with GS too so is looking forward to that with her new clothes
    How’s the -medicine – going .it was good to here there might be an improvement
    Yes it’s Mother’s Day…..its old fashioned to say Mothering Sunday I suppose
    A new horse great..he was waiting for just you
    Hope FM is feeling better…he so won’t be wanting to go back
    There must be a plan for you both..
    I had steak over the weekend too..do t normally
    Hope the meeting went well I’m sure it did you all sound a welcoming family
    Hopefully you will start feeling a bit better
    Well just waiting for the offending smelly chair to be picked up ..ant time between 7-2. Ugh
    It’s now gone 11am .waiting to go out to get other eucalyptus tree
    Ok that’s it Chris

    • Chris, I was wondering about you but hoping you were getting some mothering of your own…and you were. I loved hearing about you and DD having a shopping spree. It is so much fun doing girl stuff with your daughter. Certainly DH preferred sitting over coffee to shopping. Beth and I haven’t had a day to ourselves without children along in a long, long time. Used to love buying new clothes and especially laughing at ourselves trying on hats. We used to enjoy that so much. Some day…right now she is so involved with kids, work and home. Pleased to hear GS is getting over his first heartbreak. Sounds like such a nice young man.
      So, another eucalyptus tree to enjoy. Great. Your garden is taking shape so nicely. You’re absolutely right about these happy experiences making us feel better. There’s a certain rush of hormones of many kinds and it is great. Do hope by now the smelly chair is long gone along with it’s odor.
      The new drops are helping but not as much as I had hoped. Standing and walking for any period of time is still utterly painful throughout the low back and pelvis. I don’t know which disease it is at this point.Old problems, arthritis, Sjogren’s, polychondritis or mets of cancer in the bones there. I know the mets are sprinkled throughout that region. I did bake oatmeal cookies with my GD today as today is Mon. and my day with them. They were off for school/spring break so they were here all day. GS was sick so laid down most of the day and we rented a couple of movies…MOANA, new Disney film and the SECRET LIFE OF PETS. Both were good. Always enjoy them both so much but exhausted now. Lying down wondering about the easiest way to go for dinner. Think I’ll think here on the heat a bit longer. Missed you…good to hear about your weekend. Has spring arrived in England yet? Love, Sue

      • Well Sue Spring has arrived and weather seems warmer some days good others rainy..but it’s always fingers crossed till end of May
        I so wish you could enjoy some time with your DD as I did..maybe when the better weather comes
        Wonder what you did for dinner..I think I’d do easy toasted sandwiches or takeout
        Hope GS gets better and you done get whatever it is
        Oh do you think you could take the drops more often..do they still make you tired

  30. Chris
    Was wondering where you were. What a wonderful time you have had. Glad you had such a good day with DD and you GS. I’m afraid I am not going shopping for a long time ! Haha ! Maybe online, that is how I do most of mine and the grocery, of course.
    Beautiful day here, spring has arrived. I could go feed in my pjs.
    FM still not good, I think it is the flu. Fever, aches, runny nose, cough, sneezes, the whole 9 yards. A lady up the road has it as well. Maybe her germs flew down this way ? Glad I had my flu shot, so maybe I won’t get sick ?
    I am going to swim and he to sit in the sauna and sweat. Last day here, sad for us both. We just don’t talk about it, but it is there, like a big elephant. Just pray he can get it all sorted out and be back sooner rather than later. The powers that be who have all their money ( and other people’s ) have no idea what they are doing to the normal person, nor do they care. But…it is a waiting game. We will see what next month election brings. Which crook will win, he says.
    So quiet evening here. I hope to do a little work with Sweet Pea this evening as well. I made us pancakes for breakfast. Tomorrow, up early and off to Roanoke airport. Must check in by 12:30 for his 4:30 flight. Prayers please he has a quiet uneventful flight. He changes planes in Atlanta and then on to Paris.
    Okay, Chris hope that new tree is there soon. Pics of your new yard and deck okay ?
    Love to all

    • Tonie, Was so hoping your FM would be better for the flight but doesn’t look like it. Better send him off with some medications as well as the ones for air sickness…make it stuff he can drink wine with. Pray he can sleep a great deal of the trip. I know this is a painful time for both of you and pray for ease of both of your hearts. Certainly hope the election allows the best for the job and the one who will restore, rightfully so, the retirement the working people of France deserve. That’s scandalous what they have done to those who have worked for so long and get stuck with this problem in the golden years…where’s the gold?
      I also hope you don’t catch the bug or if you do that you get a very light case. Hope you got some time tonight with Sweet Pea. What a gorgeous horse she is. You’re going to have so much fun with her. Hope you’re not getting any of that hail storm moving across the US right now. You need safe travels tomorrow. We are scheduled for 15 straight days of rain with one partly dry day and that’s this Friday. My feet are webbed and I’m pretty sure there’s moss on them as well. Thinking of you both tomorrow. Prayers for his flight and your safety on the road. Love, Sue

      • Sue
        Today he is much better. Medication of the nose spray sort, some aspirin, chicken soup and wine last night. He loves the nose spray, it really cleared up his sinus area. I made chicken lentil soup last night and he ate a lot, not as much as he usually does, but enough.
        No horse work last night, as it started raining. I did get my potatoes planted though. Had to , they were starting to rot, next I have onions and shallots.
        The heart is heavy, but this will pass in a few days, weeks, ….. on the good side, he says he will be here in October for good, he wants to finish out the school year and get everything prepared for his leaving. Should he come in the summmer it would just disrupt the dates, so..
        Yet I have a lot to keep me busy. My first job on Thursday ! Changing out a couple of light fixtures for the lady who is the life guard at the pool. Excited, another reference. All my flyers get gone quickly, so hoping for good results. Still getting medical bills from my surgery ( ain’t insurance great ?). So need to make some extra quickly.
        Sweet area will take a lot of working and happy work.
        So in hope and prayer for you to find relief on your pain. Something HAS to work. A good old fashioned healing miracle would be the best !
        Love ya

    • I think I had a bad experience when I food shopped on line .i got all nearly out of date stuff and not what I would have chose and also stuff I didn’t ask for.it put me off.plus I don’t like shopping on the internet I’m a old fashioned behind the times girl who should know better!
      Well FM maybe on way home now….hope he is feeling better for the trip. I’m sure you will be seeing him soon, he will make it happen for you both when he sees the opportunity
      I think I’ve answered all out of sync ,typical me.ive already posted well below

      • Chris
        I rarely buy food online, just cleaners, supplements, my RXs, and some clothes and shoes. I go to the store for food, I like to look it over, haha ! I usually buy through Amazon and you can return for free easily. Same with QVC, and HSN.
        No, FM not gone yet. Getting ready to leave for the airport. Takes an hour and a half to get there. That I can get through ok. Kills me when I get back and the dogs are searching for him. Brutus was so sad last night when he was packing. Laid on top of his feet if he were still. They know what the suitcase means,
        He is feelingmuch better today, see my reply to Sue above.
        Glad your dh is enjoying his tree. No matter where you live, “there is no place like home”

  31. Hi everyone! Pommum here, or maybe you remember me as Nana Brenda. I had to leave that name behind when I was unable to log in as Nana for whatever reason several years ago and had to find a new title.
    Sue, I am so very sorry for what you have had to endure these past few years. Although I haven’t been posting regularly I have been following the lives of those on the blog. I pray that you will have many days in the future when “Life takes on a special meaning” and you are “the me that soars And transcends the pain”. I enjoyed your poem a great deal and found it quite meaningful.
    I am, at the moment, recovering from foot surgery and having reached the halfway mark last week, I was able to leave the constraints of a cast and graduate to an air boot, with just a splint for sleep!!! It was wonderful to finally wash my leg and apply lotion to my dry, irritated skin. I had another of those extremely long screws removed from my heel and as the little ones explained to their other Grandma, Nana’s little piggie that usually stays at home ran away, and isn’t coming back! I never thought I would reach the point that I would agree to the amputation of body parts, but with all the pain and discomfort that toe has caused, I am not missing it at all! They sent me home with a block in place and a small pump with enough medication to last over two days, so that time was quite painless as far as my foot was concerned. It was the three weeks of no weight bearing and with my lower leg in a cast that was difficult! Surgery on my right hand was also scheduled but put on hold as my hands are greatly needed to assist in ambulation until my foot is completely healed and free from pain. My surgeon is hopeful that I may be into some sort of footwear on Easter weekend, (depending on my x-ray) and with six very busy grands, that is something to look forward to!
    Time to rest ….. soft hugs to all! Pommum

    • Good to see you back here, pommum! What a time you have been having, but glad it is working out well so far. Sorry I must run, rehearsal night and all. I want to get there a bit early so I can park as close as possible. Not feeling the best today.

      Sue, all went well last evening. 🙂 Well, meeting-wise. I had a hard time getting comfortable, as we can all relate to. Went up to bed early and took some meds. Had to take NSAID at 5 or 5:30 am to try to get back to sleep after waking at 4:30. Oh, joy. Made sure to take some a bit ago to try to help through rehearsal tonight. It worries me a bit to have a flare so close to my skin cancer surgery, which sent me into a flare last time I had one.

      • Lyn, good you made it through the evening in spite of the pain. I need to ask why you don’t take NSAID’s all the time instead of just when needed? Once a day is so convenient for you and most of the newer NSAID’s are once a day. I think it’s wonderful how your adrenaline seems to kick in when needed for your performances. The human mind is an interesting design. I know the birthday dinner wasn’t a performance but you get my drift, thought wise. Saw the pic of your lovely pink roses. Beautiful. It is an odd feeling when you meet those your kids are dating..especially if there’s a possibility of it being a serious relationship. Life goes on like that but for most of us, I think we have trouble realizing our children are always evolving. Change is the name of the game. Hope spring reaches you and us very soon. We’re in for 15 days of rain with this Friday our only dry day. Busy day all day with the grands out of school for spring break. Later…Love, Sue

    • Pommum, what a nice surprise to see you on here commenting once again even though I do feel badly you are going through so much surgery right now. Guess you have to keep the attitude that it’s all to make a better you and to ease your pain. What a brave woman you are and always have been since we met on here many years ago. I also follow you and Teddy on FB.
      The last count I had for grands was five so that is wonderful. Amazing how quickly they grow, isn’t it? My youngest are now 11 and 13 years and the four oldest who are in TX are in or already graduated from college. Two nurses in the offing there, also. What about you? See any of those nursing genes exhibited in the little ones. How was your summer at the cottage? You do have my prayers and love and affection as you recover and prepare for the hand surgery. You know you’re going to end up being a whole new updated you. Welcome back. Love, Sue

  32. Lyn
    So sorry about the new flares and the new surgery. I absolutely meant to post you and forgot. Hope your concert will go good and the rehearsal was not so hard on you.

  33. Pommum
    So glad to see you back. I have been trying to follow your surgery on FB, but had no idea the extent it took. Glad you are not missing the pain. Prayers for your recovery, and more prayers for your upcoming one. God bless you, you have had a few of them over the years.
    SIX grands ? Unreal ! I remember when you had NONE ! How are they all doing ? Hope all is well with everyone and you are able to wear shoes soon

  34. Lyn
    I hate that you have that worry ..I hope all goes well this evening and that you feel more confident about it all .im glad the meeting went good
    Yes prayers for FM and his journey.l hope the sauna helped him a bit to recover .and you are not to get the flu.
    The tree came and is in pot .its at the bottom of garden and the leaves smell lovely.reminds DH of his childhood ..will take pics
    I’m not on Facebook so didn’t know of the op. Unsure why the amputation.but my good wishes for the next op.youve had a time of it
    You ok there

  35. Hi, all, popping on quickly to say I’ve had my “surgery” and am home trying to take it easy, just doing a bit here and there, but trying to keep low key. I asked the doc and it was another squamous cell cancer this time. I’ve had various forms, but thankfully no melanoma yet. I didn’t feel great this morning, some soft tissue aching that had me a bit nauseous, but I seem to be doing a bit better with that right now. That could change on a dime, I know. I managed a little walk with the pup before my appointment. She needed it as we had rain yesterday and were unable to get out. Thankfully SB played with her last evening and wore her out. Simple dinner planned – London Broil in the crock pot, baked potato, and green beans. As quiet an evening as I can. Hoping I can stave off as much reaction as I can. I know it often hits a day or 2 later. Tonie, thankfully the first rehearsal/concert isn’t until April 22/23. That’s why I really wanted it done ASAP. Been thinking of you, too, Tonie, and meant to message you as well.
    Oh, Sue, I was taking Aleve – 2 every 12 hours – the past couple of days or so with this latest flare, but woke this morning with a headache and ringing in my ears. I’ve had the same side effects with prescription NSAIDs but usually could take Aleve. Now, apparently, I can get it with that, too. Pretty much why I only use them when I have to. Kind of unfortunate. I do take Advil for short term things like normal headaches.

    • Lyn, pleased to hear the excision is over and now you can recover. Hope you’re not too limited in your movement of head and neck. I pray God you never do have a switch from one of the more innocent skin cancers to melanoma. Since it is the one that become systemic, it creates a whole new area of concern. I do hope the incision you had today is not too long. Heal well my friend…Did they have you keep it moist for a time or not? Easy dinner sounds good and shows such wise planning. Fresh filet of sole on the menu here tonight. Jim’s still on his soup diet. I’m not well today. Do hope I am not coming down with GS’s virus. Such is life…
      I can’t help but wonder what the common ingredient is in those NSAID’s you’ve tried that give you tinnitus? There are always new ones coming out. I’ve had Meloxicam (Mobic) for several years with no problems but had problems with others. Always fascinates me how different we all are from each other.
      Take care and be sure to ask if you have any questions. Love ya, Sue

  36. Hi all
    Well, I started the Enbrel last night. I will say the shot was a bit painful. And I think most of the expense is in the delivery system ! Such a high tech auto needle ! About an hour after I got a sore throat, and wasn’t sure if it was from the shot or the FM ! But after this evenings sneezing, blowing and eyes watering, I am going to say the FM. But, I don’t feel really bad, just a little headache from pressure.
    Worked with Sweet Pea some today, and not sure who was sweating the most ! She or me ! Lots of bad habits to quell, but a good workout. Tomorrow, I have a job, and then I will try to groom both of them.
    Lyn, glad your surgery went well and was no worse ! Rest and be well. Glad the concert is some time away Ives you some recovery time.
    Sue, hope alll si well. Chris, loved the pics of your new deck and yard. Looks great.
    Take care all.

    • Woohoo! First shot in! Can’t wait to see if it helps. Meanwhile, take care of that cold. What timing. 😦 How was FM doing when he set out on his return? I hope he weathers/ed it well. So time with Sweet Pea today, good. A good workout for both of you!

    • Tonie, do hope the symptoms you’re exhibiting will not turn into FM’s virus. Did he get home in one piece without a miserable trip…auch a long trip while feeling unwell? As far as the Enbrel, I’m not a bit surprised. Three years ago when I was on the daily dose of Forteo had a complicated pen delivery system and it was sinfully expensive. I’m anxious to see how it helps you. I don’t know how long it takes but probably different with everyone.
      How much fun that must be for you getting to know Sweet Pea. I;m sure you both have a lot to teach each other. Is she strong willed? Hope you’re dry back there. Of course, here it’s raining. Hope you are doing well and sounds like you are keeping as busy as your boy allows. Love, Sue

      • Sue
        She is not really headstrong, just not used to having to give up her way. We are both learning. Me with the patience give and take way instead of , I am in charge way. It is rainy here today and tomorrow and cooler, but not cold. I
        It sounds and looks easy to make the horse run in a circle around you, but believe me, it aint that easy. First off I have to keep from getting dizzy !! But keeping me busy in a good way, making progress to the riding point. I want her good and docile for that part. Maybe in May, if she keeps working good.
        Hope you are doing well today. Hang in there
        Love ya

  37. Lyn
    I too get tinnitus with all anti inflams. I also get it with the ointment..they say it doesn’t get absorbed into the system but always after a couple of days it’s there.infact I’m left with it anyway after so long on them years ago.had to stop them had a bleed
    Rheumy appt today .shecsaid you do,get swollen glands with sjogrens just watch out if they don’t go down.but she did about 9’blood tests,unusual ones to me and see her again .results will go to my gen practice tho.
    Hope you don’t go,down with the flu
    Hope your not too bad with this bug whatever it Is

    • Chris, GS was here on Mon. on the couch all day with school out for spring. I knew it was a risk but as you know very well, dry sore throat, sore nose, sinus dryness of excess, headache and joint pains…all are a daily occurrence with Sjogren’s. Makes it difficult to know when a virus is moving in. I take a lot of preventive herbs and homeopathy when I feel something coming on.
      Drops still helping quite a bit for pain. Certainly helping as much as the previous pain meds which caused so many problems. No conclusions yet but hopeful. Still such a controversial subject. They are doing many studies using cannabis oil for children with severe seizure activities as well as adults with Parkinson’s disease. Excellent, amazing results so far. Hope you are getting around okay and your ongoing adventure at your new home is going well.
      Love, Sue

  38. Good morning all
    Still a little stuffed up this morning, but I took a pill to dry it up, so not bad on the nose run. Lyn, FM was feeling much better when he left and yes, he arrived safe and sound. Won’t hear much from him at first as he settles back in to his long hours of teaching. he had to report back today, so I am sure he is worn out.
    Chris/Lyn, I have tinnitus all the time. Went to the ear specialist, got my ears run full of water and spun around upside down and backwards, all sorts of test. Came back as “idiopathic: which means, they have no idea what is causing it. Most of the time is it soft but sometimes gets really loud and annoying.
    Sue, I was watching a documentary on the cannabis industry and how much money they make on that stuff….unreal ! California, of course, has the most liberal laws and practically anyone who wants it can get the RX for it. Just legalizing it. The shops they showed were only selling the buds. But I haven’t finished watching it yet. I wanted to see the different products they produce, but it may not show them. One shop in Cali said they cleared 2 million a week !!! I just hope you get some relief regardless of who is making money.
    Well, gotta get ready and go fix this ladies lights. Say a prayer I do a good job and get a referral from her.
    Take care all

    • Tonie, hope the project and work was easy and you’re feeling satisfied about the job. Hopefully, it will open an opportunity for more. From what I’ve seen at every pot shop around here, they have a variety of offerings from candy to chocolate to honey to the oils and a lot of buds of many varieties. None of these folks locally are making that kind of money but from what I’ve read the big ones in the big cities do. Also, in CO they are making millions or more for the state with the extra tax they put on it. They tax it here as well. Unfortunately, it is such a controversial product for medical purposes, I’m not going to go into too much detail. I think there are a lot of my readers who just aren’t ready to open their minds to it and others who would be offended if I made jokes about it. I’ll keep informed about the effects. I think it’s interesting that four of my doctors told me to try it, however none of them wrote it down on my chart. It’s not considered an illegal drug in this state so it’s just like buying aspirin but with more tax since we have no sales tax in OR on anything else.
      Hope i didn’t screw up the typing too badly. Eyes bad right now.
      Glad your bug is behaving and you’re not getting very ill from it. Any reports on the Enbrel yet? Later, Sue

  39. Oh yeah. I was reading all the long list of potential side effects for Enbrel and actually found one I hope happens……weight loss ! Ha !

  40. Sue, I will reply down here so as not to get lost way up there. My incision is maybe an inch long. I’d have to get a ruler. They have me cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and applying petroleum ointment twice a day and covering with a bandage. I have to double check if and when I can leave it uncovered. Too early for that as yet, I am sure. I also want to try to find a better bandage option. Today I used 2 bandaids side by side to cover the length, with another over top to make sure the bandaid side were covered at the site. the ends of the incision were right there and it is too early in the healing process. I wanted to play it safe. I have larger bandages, but they are quite large and so much more noticeable. We shall see. Thankfully, it is located right near my collar bone, toward the middle of my chest, and angles down and in. (I posted a pic on FB this morning.) So, I can easily turn my head, etc. without bothering it. Much more comfortable than the ones on my back were. Thankfully needed no pain meds, so didn’t have to take anything anti-inflammatory. Still got a headache later this afternoon – a little one. I think it is from the front coming in. I ran some errands this morning, including contracting for new carpet for our family room! I’m excited. She did say they are scheduling out to late May or early June right now. They will schedule when the carpet comes in. We had hoped to do it earlier, but had some expenses that waitlisted it. Despite the large car bill we just had, we think we can do it now, and looks like we’ll have some extra time to save up a bit more, too. Only had to put 1/3 down today. I ended up with some really foggy brain and fatigue, so came home and took it easy. Will do so tonight, too, most likely, so as not to encourage a flare.

    Tonie, my DH has some tinnitus always there, too. His is from damage due to loud sound. He has hearing loss, too, unfortunately. A danger to musicians/band directors.

    • Lyn, yes I saw the pics of your excision and it looks good…clean and not very swollen. I like the procedure you’re following, so sounds good. I like those little individual petroleum jel packets they give you so you know it is fresh and clean compared to the Vaseline most of us have had in our cupboards for years. Jim and I have always found nice mid size rectangular bandages or the square ones for his many skin cancer surgeries. Yes, they might show more but since they are flesh colored it’s not too bad. They just have to cover and have the sticky part far away from the ointment so it will stick. How about just wearing a light scarf around your neck or turtlenecks for awhile? If anyone asks tell them you had a tattoo removed. That will give them something to think about because it’s so out of character for you. .
      New carpet is always fun and I guess spring is their busiest time of the year. That will be fun. Hope all vehicles are now up and running. Later, Love, Sue

  41. Hi all
    look after yourself it does sound sore.new carpet something to look forward to
    How did the electrics go …you are clever
    AND you are keeping busy ..how the bug?
    Glad the oil is working now ,that’s good news..does it make you sleepy at all?
    How are you and your bug ?
    I did all my house work this week so I’m free for this weekend to enjoy Saturday and relax before going shopping again with DD for a whole day! Meeting for breakfast and she has an itinerary planned…oh dear! But I will enjoy it
    Weather warm 19c but wind makes it cold
    .just made some veg soup and have jacket pots on
    DH bp was good today at drs when he went for his inr ,see if he can keep on these meds
    All have a good weekend

    • Chris,Good, good…another shopping day with DD. I suspect both of you are going to be well dressed this spring. Good news also about Dh and his B/P. Nice place to be.
      I definitely have a virus. Left ear started to ache last night. Hope it all calms down. Hurting worse than ever all over. I hate to go into the weekend with a dirty house, although my home is not nearly as clean as it once was. i ran the Roomba then realized it was much too full and needed cleaning out and then…I found ants inside the Roomba. Finally tracked them down to the bedroom where we plug it in and put out some ant bait. Much too much doing today but house looks better. Lots of resting in between. Enjoy tomorrow..okay. Are jacket pots baked potatoes? Love, Sue

      • Sue
        I hate ants….I hope you get them gone.ive had them too pesky things.you don’t need them at the moment
        yes they are baked potatoes..used to call them that here..then all of a sudden they were jackets.whenyou went out and asked for baked they just said do you mean jackets! Fashion in food!
        Is the oil still helping or is the bug overcoming it,earache..antibiotics? I know sjogrens and those don’t always get along.
        I know I can’t keep this place up like I would like too…I thought one level living would be easy and guess it is but this year has been hard and …….
        Well I’ve been awake 3 hrs and its 7 am..going out for scones and tea for breakfast ,but not till 10 am so maybe I’ll get some sleep

  42. Hello all
    Bad day here. Virus hit me hard over the. Night. I have slept off and on all day. But I am feeling better this evening than this morning.
    Yesterday went well. Got the two lights swapped out and a few more things done on my way home. Yes, apSue, hoping this leads to more work. Once I get over this bug, I must call back my older gentlemen who needed help.
    Lyn, I know you are excited about your new carpet. Enhances your home when you change things.
    Chris, glad you are getting another day out with DD.
    Sue, as I said above, this stuff hit me hard last night, but hopefully it will be better tomorrow or the next. No MTX for me this week. And hopefully it will be gone by Tuesday when my next dose of Enbrel is due. Hope you are feeling better today.
    Love to all

    • Tonie, so sorry. Hope tomorrow is better for you and for me. Read my note to CHris. Can’t say it all again. Love you and hope Judy is healing as well. Sue

  43. Tonie
    What’s swapped out mean ……
    Hope you feel better again tomorrow ..I suppose you were bound to get the flu as well.but you had the vaccine I think so maybe it will clear quick
    That’s one hec of a side effect to lose weight . What a benefit and pain relief!

  44. Chris
    I removed a light fixture in her dining room and replaced it with a nice chandelier, then took the one I removed and put it in a bedroom.
    Yeah, light dose of virus whatever it is. I feel a lot better tonight, hopefully it is on the way out now.
    Yeah, a good side effect for once, ha ! Here’s hoping and praying I get good results from it.
    Have a good day with your daughter

  45. I could do with a Tonie here……got one light in the kitchen to do!
    Good you feel better
    Yea looking forward to Sunday ..my DD is good fun ..as most time is with our daughters ……well most of the time!!
    Yes prayers for the new med

  46. Chris
    When I was a kid, my mother used to call them potatoes in their jackets. Or bake them in their jackets. Then, it just went to baked potatoes. It was what the older generation called them. I always loved it when she did them that way. Usually when she made a meat loaf. Baked pots, green beans, Cole slaw and corn bread. She had a menu where she always made the same things together. She was a great cook and a good mother. Miss her, always. And my Dad, even though it has been many years since they left us, I still miss them.
    Have a good day, hope you for more sleep. I feel much better today.

    • Don’t the simplist of things remind you,smells evoke such memories..that meal does sound good as well
      Your post below..I’ve never heard of it I must look out for it.i would like it as I was born there.ill have a look on catchup see if I can find it

  47. Sue/Chris
    Found a new series, Hinterland. A detective based in Wales. Once again I see why these people settled here in these mountains of Va, WVa, and Tennessee. The landscape is so familiar. Even the shape of the mountains. The surnames used on the show are so many that are here. I just love these shows and discovering new things about the U.K.
    I so like the British crime series.

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