A New Year, A New Attitude, A New Year’s Resolution

IMG_2501I can’t believe it!  It’s 2018, Steven is still cancer-free and I think I might be starting to like people again.  I’m definitely not grouchy all the time anymore, and when I see an idiot out in public, I can actually feel a little compassion for the poor wanker rather than getting pissed off that he/she broke out of protective custody to screw up my world!

I don’t know if it’s the relaxation of retirement, the joy in being G’s Nana and knowing that in April when he gets promoted to “Big Brother” I’ll also have another little boy-chick to call me Nana…or if it’s just the happiness in IMG_2724another year where Steven doesn’t have cancer.  Whatever it is, it’s making me feel like I did when I was in my 20s.  I feel hope and anticipation and expectation of good things.  WTF?  When did I get so goopy?  Did it happen all at once, or was it a gradual ripening into a sweet little old lady who neither looks or feels old? Don’t know, don’t care!  I’m just liking it.

Not having to go to a stressful job where other people’s drama gets my panties in a wad is awesome.  That part of retirement is the bomb.  I highly recommend it!  The being on a budget thing isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m doing it because everything else is so great.  I spend my days with Steven and we really enjoy the company of each other.  After so many years of me trying to work hard enough to keep our insurance and earn enough to pay all the co-pays and out of pocket expenses of before, during and after lymphoma treatments of every variety, it’s great to have him healthy.  And even better that I get to be around him to enjoy it for a change.

STEVEN SELFIE FAVORITEAlso knowing that the world is now to the point that treatments for blood cancers are quickly approaching the cure is a huge relief.  Even though we try not to expect anything bad, we are realists and know that shit happens.  So even after the stem cell transplant, we have anxiously awaited the coming of the cure.  And just this morning we saw a great story on Fox Business Channel about the advances the Celgene company has made in a drug to be released mid-2018 that will be a lifesaver for blood cancer patients.  So help is on the way, and advancements are coming to make treatment less life threatening and more effective.  If that isn’t hopeful new for the new year, I don’t know what is.  Now that I know Steven no longer has an expiration date stamped on his ass, I’m planning on having him around for a long time.  And do I have a “Honey-Do” list for him!

So in case you can’t tell, I kinda made a New Year’s resolution this year.  It was really fullsizeoutput_6c8simple.  Be nice.  That’s it…just be nice.  Don’t be a dick, don’t bust asses for fun and profit, don’t make things harder than they have to be and just get along.  That all falls very non-specifically under “Be Nice” yet without so much detail that I gave up on January 2. And it takes all pressure off everyone else in my world.  If I resolved to “be nice to every asshole” you would know that when I treat you nicely that meant I think you are an asshole.  If I’m nice to everyone, we all win.  Who would of thunk it?

I’m finding with the simple act of being nice, potential problems are smoothing themselves out.  No negativity to be attracted here.  Because I realized that a resolution is more than one thing.  It is defined as a firm action to do or not do something.  As in DO be nice,  DO NOT be a dick.  But it also means the action of solving a dispute, problem or contentious matter.  And it seems that in my case if I do one, I get the other.  And what retiree on a budget doesn’t like a BOGO?

IMG_2754So today I’m putting in Day 3 of making Mango Chutney.  Why?  Because Steven likes it (as do I) and because I have the time and because I can.  Sunday I peeled cut and chopped fruit for hours and mixed up the potion to steep it all in two huge industrial, cafeteria size Hellman’s Mayo jars.  Yesterday was shaking and moving the jars to make sure the flavors all married and brewed.  And today is the final step of chopping and adding the rest of the ingredients and then cooking off the gallon of vinegar until I’m left with the tangy, sweet and spicy chutney.  And for the first time in years it’s a joy.  Because I have the time, and the energy and the right attitude to make this monster vat of goodness.  And it feels nice…just like me!IMG_2759

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Extreme Makeover – Cancer Edition

IMG_0859 What a week it’s been.  Last Sunday I drove to Orlando and dropped all three girl dogs off with my wonderful son-in-law who took the bullet for me and did what I could not bear to do.  He drove to the west coast of Florida to relocate my beloved girl dogs.  I was able to send Lucy back to the breeder who made her, and Maritza and Zoey were welcomed to join her for placement into homes in which they would receive the attention they deserve.  It was the right thing to do, but that didn’t make it feel any better.  I couldn’t even look in the rear view mirror on the way to Matt, because I felt like I’d turn around and race home if I made eye contact with any one of them.  I barely remember transferring them to his car, ISteven in bed with mask do remember him giving me a huge bear hug, which just made me crack.  I certainly don’t remember driving home.  I do remember the huge pile of damp Kleenex on the seat next to me that I had to dump in the trash, so I must have been bawling my eyes out.  I just keep trying to focus on the important reason for the decision.  I need to channel all my energy, love and caring into keeping Steven well.  He was so beat up when he arrived in the hospital that they had to mask him up to get him to the room without anyone sharing a germ with him!

IMG_0972Steven was in really bad shape for the first 4 days in the hospital.  He received what seemed like gallons of blood, IV drips of antibiotics, potassium, platelets and probably a little Spic & Span to clean up his blood.  It took a couple of days for his skin to go from grey to white to pink to normal.  And every time he seemed to feel a little energy, he’d get wiped out from overzealously texting me.  By Wednesday night I was starting to get really nervous.  His progress seemed so slow that I thought he’d be in the big house forever!  I could only visit him for about an hour IMG_0975each evening until he was shooing me off because he just didn’t have the energy to stay alert.

I was so worried that I texted Dr. Sprawls and asked him to call me.  Earlier in the week I was able to get a speakerphone visit with him and Steven one morning during rounds.  The doc was very pleased with Steven’s progress, but the rest of my updates were via Steven which was really messing me up.  Chemo brain is a lot like Brian Williams…inaccurate reporting!  Again the doctor told me that this was all pretty normal, albeit pretty sucky.  He told me I didn’t need to worry about Steven’s infection any more because it was under control even if it seemed to be moving out slowly.  Of course that only made me ask him to tell me what I should worry about.  I wish I could stop thinking that every report was a trick answer!  The doctor told me I should concentrate on worrying about giving up my dogs until I got that under control.  Somehow, his understanding of the emotional overload I’ve been under made me feel better about all of it.

Hospital movie seatsAnd then Steven asked me on a date.  On Thursday he called before I left for work and asked me to stop on the way to see him to pick up some non-hospital food for me so we could have dinner together. He texted me throughout the day, so proud of the plans he was making.  We were going to watch a movie after dinner so he arranged moving seating hospital style for us!  We haven’t had a date for a while, so this was a pretty sweet gesture under the circumstances!  And just so I wouldn’t freak me out when I arrived, he broke the news viaSteven selfie-hair falling out photo – Oh, yeah!  My hair is falling out!

I sat across the room a bit so I didn’t have to wear a mask, and we ate and talked like normal people…in hospital gowns.  His of the patient variety and mine of the quarantine variety.  We we going to watch a movie after dinner, but first I had big date plans for him.  I suited up completely with mask and gloves, moved him over to the other side of the room to a chair, IMG_0973draped him in towels and shaved his head.  If his hair was starting to fall out and his pillow always looked like a drain in a high school locker room shower, I can fix that!  Hairy pillow – Not sexy!  Doing the honors was priceless!

Steven looked good bald in 2004 and he still looks pretty dapper to me.  He took it like a champ and even let me take some mug shots.  It was a little hard for him to yuk it up with me because all the buzzing gave him a massive headache.  And he tires pretty easy so the makeover seemed like a day’s work IMG_0978to him.  Of course the nursing staff has been very attentive to him since they all feel pretty proud that he didn’t let him kick the bucket during his first 24 hours there!  That always seems to bring a great togetherness to the group, wouldn’t you say?  So his favorite nurse, Hannah, just poked her head in as we were finishing and asked if he was having any pain.  He told her he had a pretty bad headache and she was back with some horse tranquilizers within minutes.  So there went the movie.  We only had about 30 minutes in the chairs, holding hand to glove…and then he conked out.  I helped him back into bed before he started to go down for the count and I slipped out the door, pretty grateful for the time we had.

IMG_0979So what a difference a week makes.  He’s coming home tomorrow, he feels better and can actually walk and get up by himself.  That’s huge!  I put him in the wheelchair and rolled him out of here last Friday.  I had dogs to round up and secure so we could get out the door and a dozen things that needed to be done for them before we could leave.  He was in pain, weak and hanging on by a thread.  And tomorrow he’ll be back to a quiet house, with hopefully fewer cooties, definitely safer for padding around the floor without tripping on a squeaky toy, bone or stealth girl dog, and he’ll have my complete attention.

What a makeover it’s been.  And we’re still just starting!

 

If you want to help me take more time away from work and have more time home caring for Tumor Boy widgetand writing about our adventures with Cancer,  we’d be so very grateful if you’d visit our Go Fund Me Page. Our insurance has a lot of loopholes for things that aren’t covered, and my job has no loopholes for being able to work from home!  And I’m gonna do whatever I have to do to keep my husband around.  After all, I just got him house broken!

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A Couple of Firsts for Me Today!

This is just a short post today to let you share my accomplishments du jour.  There is a lot of medical stuff that makes me queasy.  When I donate blood, I can’t watch or my knees get weak even while I’m sitting.  When Steven had his knee replacement surgery he had to give himself injections for a few days after he got home.  I think it was NEUPOGEN®, And he injected himself in the abdomen.  I’d get him set up and then turn my back or refill his water.  It only took a second.  I didn’t have to watch.  No harm, no foul.

The blood tests this week revealed a really low T (testosterone) level from the chemo.  Really low…like I think the number was Ovary.  So after 2 days of running around trying to get the drug (I guess there are so many old people living beachside that there is not a large stock of T), and approval from the insurance company (didn’t get it – I just paid for it!) I left Walgreens with a couple of syringes and 2 vials of liquid.  The palm sweating part came when the pharmacist told me that it had to be administered in his buttock.  That’s where he recommended and the doctor wanted it.  Probably because Steven has lost so much weight, it’s hard to find any meat that has any muscle attached.  But a quick scenario in my brain played out as impossible for him to self administer.  Between the shaking hands and dropsy, trying to aim for the small hard to hit area that still has some padding would be impossible for him.  Just as a side note for anyone trying to lose weight really fast.  You probably never get a good look at your butt during the starving process, so let me enlighten you.  Steven had a great butt.  Now it looks like a scrotum.  Just saying’.  Crash diets and chemotherapy don’t look too pretty good from behind!

The pharmacist told me how to do it, but my head was spinning so much I really didn’t get it.  So I did the logical thing when I got home…I You Tubed it.  Damn, you can learn to do anything on You Tube.  I bet I could also give him a butt lift if I thought it wouldn’t make ME puke!  Long story short – I did it.  I administered my first injection today.  No blood, no bruise and Steven said it didn’t hurt at all.  Of course the chemotherapy is the equivalent of getting kicked in the head by an elephant, so this baby syringe probably didn’t hurt him.  Me…I was sweating like a whore in church!

He started feeling a little sturdier within a half hour.  Not necessarily from the shot, but also from the rest of the medications I assembled and served.  So we moved him to an upright position in the chair in our bedroom and just sat a talked, like regular people…for about 5 minutes when Lucy came bolting into the room with a dead rat in her mouth.  She dropped it at Steven’s feet and I realized I was about to have another first.  Gag, gag and more gag.  This was way worse than the injection.

Dead stuff is usually Steven’s department, but right now his only department is staying on this side of the dirt!  So, I got a garden hand trowel and tried to scoop it up…with a bag covering it…without looking at it.  Not so easy.  Eventually, I had to bear down and just look at what I was doing.  It took a couple of false starts until I managed to get it into a Walgreens bag, which I tied off and put in another Walgreens bag and then I double bagged that bag.  The whole time I was doing that Ewwww-ickkkk thing, and I know my face looked like I was sucking a lemon.  But I did it.

No photos today – my day was too gross.  But when this whole cancer thing is over, I may just audition for Naked and Afraid.  Because Steven spends a lot of time naked, and I spend a lot of time afraid!  I’m going to try to go to work tomorrow…so Good Night!

 

If you want to help me take more time away from work and home caring for Tumor Boy and the Whippet widgetCircus, we’d be so very grateful if you’d visit our Go Fund Me Page. Our insurance has a lot of loopholes for things that aren’t covered, and my job has no loopholes for being able to work from home! And when I say this crew needs me, I’m sure you’ll agree that I’m the glue that holds this crazy group together!

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I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST! IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY! I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION! I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY. SUBSCRIBE HERE

It’s Going To Be Alright

You’d think that right now I’d be either crying, freaking out or crawling on my belly like a reptile looking for a stray Xanax under the sofa. If you’re wondering why I’d look for Xanax on the floor, keep reading!

IMG_0936Steven had an unexpected visit to Dr. Sprawls today so he made arrangements for a friend to take him. That was a huge relief to me, yet I was a little apprehensive that Steven would be able to get his shit together well enough to get out of the house without me. He’s been like a dementia patient ever since he got out of the hospital. If I hadn’t researched the chemo he was given to know the side effects, I would have thought that they broke him!

Contrary to popular belief, I really don’t like nagging. I know that sounds weird because I’m so good at it! But just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you want that to rule your life. I’m also good at sleeping but I can’t do it all day long!

So when I left for work this morning I did not give Steven the list of dos IMG_0946and don’ts for leaving the house. Do slide the pocket door in the hallway closed, so the dogs can’t get down the hall to the bedrooms. Do slide the pocket door to the laundry room closed so they don’t pull all the tee shirts on the dry rack off the bar, out the dog door and into the back yard. And do make sure when you come home that you have New York (Steven’s nickname for his bud) put the dogs in Whippet World before you try to get the wheelchair back in the house.  Oh yeah!  DON’T forget to do everything I told you to DO!

Shoulda, coulda woulda!

I had Steven call me when he got into the “little room” with the doctor. He put me on speaker phone and it was great. I was able to “be there” for the visit and to hear all the updates. Just for the record, the doctor was ecstatic about the progress from the first round of chemo. Steven’s lymph nodes and tumors are “remarkably, hugely, greatly” smaller. Doctor’s words, so YAY!

Steven  got some new meds for the extreme, debilitating tiredness and a shot because his red blood count is 0. Zero. Zip. Nada. I’m not a lab tech but I do know that every aspect of the blood test has some number attached to it. The only Zero we’re looking for is in the cancer department! Not so much with the blood! So a shot of Procrit and Steven was glad to be on his way home.

IMG_0318I texted him to let me know when he was safe at home and back in bed and he phoned just moments later. I could hear the panic so high that I couldn’t understand the words he was trying to get out. On the third time around I finally got it. “Zoey’s gone.” She got out as he was trying to get in. What did he expect. One Whippet is faster than any human over 50. Three Whippets are a team that guarantee that someone’s going to make a break for it. I asked if New York was looking for her and he could barely get the yes out as he tried to break part 2 of the saga to me. “Pills everywhere! They got into my med box. They took all my pills. OMG!!! He’s got everything from Morphine to stool softeners. None of it vet approved and I was not sure which would be worse!  And I wasn’t sure what “took them” meant either.  Took them?  Like Jimi Hendrix?  Or took them, like Bonnie and Clyde? As I ran out of my office I texted “LOCK THEM IN WHIPPET WORLD,” in CAPS. He replied, “I cannot.” OMG!!!  That, my friends, is not him being difficult. That’s cancer tired!  I’ve been watching it all week and it’s awful.  His body just doesn’t want to work for him.BEE LINE

I drove home from Orlando with God riding shotgun! I miraculously slowed several times seconds before spotting a Florida Highway Patrol car. It made me laugh a little to think I could never explain what was REALLY happening to make me speed, because who would believe it? I was also amused at how calm I was. I was speeding, but I was in control. I knew Steven was freaking out, too weak to deal with any of it, and I managed to assure him that it would all be fine.  And I believed it.  I’d say I was calmly being nervous.  I know that doesn’t make sense, but it fits.

I drove around Satellite Beach in the exact pattern I travel when I walk the girls. I looked down the side streets, in the shade under the trees and asked every crossing guard if she’d seen my white dog. I finally drove home with the hope that Zoey would be waiting there. She was not. I was taken aback when I got in the house. It looked like a party scene from Valley of the Dolls! There were handfuls (or pawfuls) of tablets, caplets, and plastic drug store bottles with labels chewed off and teeth marks aerating the containers strewn everywhere. I should have taken a photo, because it was something to behold. Maritza and Lucy were finally locked in Whippet even though Steven told me he could not. He found that little bit of residual energy to keep them safe from themselves, and I realized that since I had been driving for over an hour, if they had actually eaten any of the pills, they would either be in comas or be projectile crapping a Jackson Pollack design through the crate!

I was just putting on sneakers when my phone rang. A vet’s office in Indian Harbour Beach, the abutting town, gave me the phone number of Amy who found Zoey. The white dog was running around nekked (without her collar) so she had no ID, but that microchip that we had implanted had all the info in a one second scan. Amy couldn’t have been nicer and since she was leaving the vet’s office and already had Zoey in her car, she delivered her to my doorstep.

I banished Zoey to Whippet world with the others and she was glad to go in.  Her little adventure must have been exhausting.  They found her about 7 miles away!  And then I started cleaning up the pills and bottles. And I should have been a mess or pissed or numb, but I really believed it when I told Steven it would be alright. I knew I could take care of it as soon as I got home.  And now I really feel better because I have that same feeling about him!  This isn’t going to be fun, but it is doable.  Hopefully with no projectile crapping, thank you very much.

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widgetIf you want to help me take more time away from work and home caring for Tumor Boy and the Whippet Circus, we’d be so very grateful if you’d visit our Go Fund Me Page.  Our insurance has a lot of loopholes for things that aren’t covered, and my job has no loopholes for being able to work from home!  And when I say this crew needs me, I’m sure you’ll agree that I’m the glue that holds this crazy group together!

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I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST! IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY! I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION! I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY. SUBSCRIBE HERE

Hurricane Sandy is ME!

OK, Boys and Girls, I’m back.  I’ve forced myself to lay off clacking away on my keyboard because I didn’t want to whine.  There comes a point in the old cancer game when the lack of income and insurance makes for an ugly life.  I never expected that to happen to us, but apparently it could, would and did.  Yuck.

Good news, I got my old job back.  I’m starting next week as a big-shot designer again, only in Orlando this time.  Finally, Steven feels more confident that he might live because I only have to wait 90 days to get my insurance back.  And, I think he’s hoping that I will spend some nights in Orlando with Alexis rather than driving back and forth every day.  So, without me around all the time, I know he’ll remember how much he likes me! Once he misses me and after he realizes he’s going to get rid of the diseased cells that are eating away at his sense of humor, he will eventually go back to normal… So that’s me in a nutshell!  Just sayin’…to fill in the blanks in blog entries for the past 6 weeks.  Not looking for sympathy, concern or nuthin’…just sayin’!

Now lets talk cancer and hurricanes.  Believe it or not, I can see a similarity.  Both wreak  havoc with your life, both come relatively unexpectedly and both can be either REALLY serious or fizzle into an inconvenience.  Unfortunately, you never know which way it’s going to turn until the last minute…meaning you could be standing there with your pants down right in the path of something devastatingly bad!

I’ve already admitted that after Steven’s Stage 4 large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma adventure, I became pretty snobby and touchy when someone whined about having cancer…the kind that the dermatologist scrapes off with TOUNGE DEPRESSOR!  I know the word “cancer” is scary no matter how it rears it’s head on one’s body.  And I do know that, left untreated, any cancer can be life threatening.  But…and this is a really big BUT…if you haven’t lost 50 pounds in a month, puked at the smell of coffee or needed Turtle Wax to wash your hair…quit whining for now, you big baby!

So, with that in mind, let’s piss of some more people and talk hurricanes!  Florida takes a pretty big kick in the head from the rest of the country when it comes to the joke front.  We are considered backwoods, hillbilly-ish, redneck idiots by lots of high profile yappers who have the attention of the followers gotten through their high-profile positions. (chelsea handler).  What most forget is that the state of Florida is transplant central when it comes to diversity.  Most of our residents are FROM someplace else, so when you (chelsea handler) make fun of Florida, you’re really making fun of all those NY, NJ, PA, ect. transplants who just decided to stop putting up with daily crap. (And who are probably your relatives!)

That being said, those of us who have been transplants for so long (30 years for me), that we consider ourself Floridians, we try to be patient with you damn Yankees.  Until you start showing your stupid side.  So, the Northeast is shivering in their shoes about Hurricane Sandy.  Here are a few tips, even though I know that by the nature of your geographic location, YOU THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING. But..
TAPE WINDOW Oswald Felleres in AP PhotoJulio CortezTAPE? WTF is that going to do.  Tape is what recent Yankee newbies use until we locals show them the errors of their ways!  Any idea what taping windows does? It holds the glass together so that instead of small shards coming though your living room, you just might hit the IDIOT LOTTO and have a 4 foot glass scalpel decapitate you!  

Mark Palazzolo boards up AP PhotoWayne ParryHow about this, Sparky…BOARD UP! Don’t get into a pissing contest with us on endurance!  You may be impressed and amused by your fortitude in having multiple hurricanes that have passed through your neighborhood. By your record, it looks like you had Isaac in 2003, Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012.  WOW! Whoop-Dee-Freakin’-Doo! What a testament to your resilience…by the way, can you see my tongue in my cheek? No? Then how about taking a gander at the photos below to show REAL resilience. (And one more thing, Einstien, the sandbags only work IF THE DOOR IS CLOSED!)
Frances Ivan Charley JeanMeanwhile, back in Florida, these hurricanes all took place in 2004 within weeks of each other, and both the plywood and the building “keep on keepin’ on”!

If you can’t read it, its says:  GO AWAY

1. Charlie

2. Frances

3. Ivan & Jeanne

4. Sale

Now THAT’S funny!
Florida Boards windowsWe try to take it with a grain of salt, batten down the hatches and roll with the punches. We’re used to y’all making fun of us, using Florida as the punchlines to your jokes and pretending that you don’t rush down here for Spring Break!  Floridians just make the best of it and know that even a shitty day in Paradise is better than a urine scented subway ANY DAY!

So with the very real concern that your subways will be flooding (and washed clean of the urine…and hopefully take the smell with it) we who do this regulary are actually saying a prayer for you.  Although you don’t know this, we really do care about you and don’t wish a hurrican on anyone  So to the bully who always busts our statewide ass, be safe, be strong and know this little snippet that we’ve learned over the years…

JIM CANTORE NO LONGER PUTS HIMSELF IN THE WORST PART OF THE STORM…that’s left for the new kids on the block…He’s now in the NY subway, so watch out New Jersey and Connecticut!

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I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST!  IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY!  I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION!  I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY.  SUBSCRIBE HERE  

I’m Not a Rocket Scientist But…

I’m not a rocket scientist but…I love that phrase.  I mean I REALLY love that phrase.  It’s the perfect way to introduce an idea that has a sarcastic undertone and a brilliant top note!  Yet, it has a humble flavor of self-deprication and the lingering aftertaste of irony, just like a fine wine, that lures you in and then kicks your butt.  

So…I’m not a rocket scientist but…Diana Nyad…have you been following that story?  I have because her name is one that I’ve heard throughout my entire life.  Probably because she’s just a little older than me, making her newsworthy for just about as long as I’ve been keeping up with the news!  For those of you who don’t get your headlines from Yahoo! LISTEN UP!  Diana Nyad is a swimmer, just a couple of wrinkles past her 60th birthday, who likes to beat records for open water distance swims.

ap_diana_nyad_jef_120821_wmainIn 1979, Nyad jumped into the clear, warm, azure waters off Bimini in the Bahamas, and swam to Florida.  Whatever…it’s an amazing feat, but seriously…why?  I’d rather jump on a cruise ship, take in the sea air for the first 7 miles and then high tail it down to the casino table to play blackjack until they either docked in Bimini a few hours later or ran out of Piña Coladas!  But, that’s just me.  

Nyad set the record for that route in 2 days of non-stop swimming, without a wetsuit.  And I’m guessing, without a Piña Colada either.  To each her own, and I respect Diana’s right to be a pioneer.  But pioneers are also people.  And people typically make themselves To Do Lists.  And once a human gets started on a To Do List, watch out.  Where swimming across an ocean may sound nuts, haven’t we all gone whack-wild on a To Do Project?  And if you’re thinking, “No” just remember back to the last time you made yourself clean out a closet…and before you realized it, you were washing the walls…with a Q-Tip…to get those corners really clean!  That, my friend, is a swim to Bimini! 

So blah, blah, blah Nyad.  She did lots of swimming.  In 1975, she swam around Manhattan Island in just under 8 hours, without getting caught up in the ropes connected to Jimmy Hoffa’s cement overshoes!  We get it.  She swims good.  But for some reason, Nyad got caught up on a Cuba to Florida swim on her To Do List that started  in 1978, and she just CAN’T git ‘er done, no matter how many proveribal Q-Tips she uses! Remember the old Judy Garland chant, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My!”  Nyad’s problem is “Hurricanes and Jellyfish and Sharks, Oh My!”

So, I’m not a rocket scientist but…what the hell?

thumbnail.aspxAlbert Einstein Quotes:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

You gotta start thinking outside the box…or shark cage, Diana.  There are a few things going on here that aren’t going to work out for you unless you change your MO.  I want to see you do this.  I’ve been rooting for you since you were brave enough to jump into those syringe infested waters surrounding New York City.  But, seriously…let’s think this through!

I’m not a rocket scientist but…You moved to Florida when you were 7…you know what the weather is like.  I’m sorry your birthday falls smack dab in the middle of hurricane season! I’m sure you also got ripped off on good birthday parties as a kid becuase everyone was busy buying plywood and covering their windows!  But for cryin’ out loud, quit trying to swim the tropical waters of Cuba during the most dangerous time of the year.  Don’t you have another memorable date you can pick?  How about the day you published your first book, or the anniversary of your first speaking engagement gig…Hell use the first time you had a skin cancer spot removed.  Pick anything that’s not in July-September.  I’m not a rocket scientist, but that solves the strong current / bad seas problem.  And then just remember to hydrate.  I’m not a rocket scientist but if you keep drinking while you swim, you can make your own warm water!

facekiniI’m not a rocket scientist but…the jellyfish thing. Seriously? You don’t wear a wetsuit, I get it…that’s part of the record breaking thing.  But you wear swim goggles, right?  How come you don’t know about this Face-Kini thing that’s all the rage in China.  Apparently these things only cost about 2 bucks.  Chinese chicks are all over the beach with them so they don’t darken up their porcelain complexions. 

DIANA NYAD POST JELLY FISH SWIM

DIANA NYAD POST JELLY FISH SWIM

Why don’t you pick one up so the jelly fish don’t turn your face into hamburger each time you try to make the journey?

And lastly, the shark thing.  Still not a rocket scientist, but I am sarcastic enough to suggest that if you spend the 2 bucks on the face-kini, and keep peeing in the water,  you’ll scare the shit out of any sharks that cross your path.  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it next time.  I’m still rooting for you…standing on the beach…with a Piña Colada in one hand…and a Q-Tip bouquet in the other.  I’m not a rocket scientist but I sure know how to have a good time!  

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How Do You Make a Hormone?

hormones fist jpegHow do you make a hormone?  Why are you asking me?  But since you brought it up, let’s talk hormones,because I’m finding that I learn something new every day.  And recently I’ve been reminded that everyone needs to be up to speed on hormones, whether you realize it or not.  We all have ‘em…and we all act like ass wipes when they’re out of kilter.  Think about any woman with PMS or menopausal symptoms, any seventh grade class…or anyone celebrating Spring Break in Daytona Beach!  Ass wipes, one and all!

So let’s start easy.  Here’s one most people have heard of:  The Thyroid Gland.  If it doesn’t secrete enough thyroid hormone, then you’ve got a problem.  Your hair starts falling out, you have no energy, you gain weight and suffer a myriad of other symptoms which slowly appear.  So you go to your doctor and he prescribes Synthroid.  (“Syn” as in synonym..meaning “just like” and “throid” as in thyroid but missing a letter…I think they did that because users are missing some hormone.)  Synthroid, you take it and the problem is solved.  Easy-peasey, Right?

The reason I mention the thyroid thing is twofold.  First, lots of people have thyroid problems so almost everyone has heard of it.  And, since you just have to pop a pill to fix it, it’s way easy to understand.  Secondly, and I knew this would get your attention, it uses the “roid” suffix, which just shouts “Uh-oh!! This could be serious!”  So now that I’ve got you reading, let’s get a little more advanced.

aur8371500004Everyone who has to do time in the Cancer Community is familiar with the hormone known as serotonin. Most commonly we learn that cancer screws it up, no matter what side of the hospital gown you’re in.  If you are on the inside of the windy jammies, meaning you have been the patient, the after effects of chemo, radiation, the cancer itself, or the stress of the whole damn mess, has knocked your seratonin levels WAAAAY out of whack.  If you’re the care giver…well, ditto only you didn’t actually have to wear the butt bearing gown or experience all those things.  Your seratonin is out of whack from dealing, worrying and paying for all those cancer related things.  Now this is just my opinion but I think EVERYONE who has been personally touched by the big bad cancer wolf should seek counsel from a mental health professional.  And, not the yenta down the street.  A trained person, who can help you get over the war you’ve been fighting.  

Moving on, seratonin regulates a mass of things in the body, but for most of us, it’s the happy hormone.  And when it’s out of whack, you’re apt to find yourself curled up on the floor of your closet, in the dark, with a box of Kleenex and a bag of Oreos, crying and sputtering black and white crumbs into your shoes…or maybe that’s just me.  Whatever, when your seratonin is screwed up, so are you.  Enter:  The Shrink.  He, like the endocrinologist (thyroid doctor) prescribes a pill.  You take the correct dosage and with luck, you’re back to normal…or the “new” normal as the docs like to call the aftermath.

Since I’m not a medical person…legally (Sidebar – I did mouth the words of the Chiropractic Oath under my breath when my sister graduated from Chiropractic School, so I like to think I’m an undercover Chiropractor) I like to break things down to the lowest common denominator.  And I think I’ve done pretty well with Synthroid and seratonin.  However, being kind of a doctor, I should have been hip to everything about another hormone, melatonin.  Unless I use the excuse that my seratonin must have been fluctuating and I couldn’t remember all I needed to know.  Because I just didn’t get that melatonin is a hormone…which is really kick in the ass for someone who is a wordsmith.  For crying out loud, they have “a-tonin” in common.  That’s like not figuring out that bitch and witch are the same kind  of gal.  Hell, the words have the “itch” right there to see and hear!

 THE GIRLS ARE ALWAYS UP FOR A NAP - NO MELATONIN NEEDED!

THE GIRLS ARE ALWAYS UP FOR A NAP – NO MELATONIN NEEDED!

But I digress, and we need to talk about melatonin, because it’s a Godsend!  It makes you sleep…and sleep makes you heal, and healing makes you better, which makes you relax…which makes you sleep.  Get it?  When you’re levels of melatonin are off, you can’t sleep, which makes EVERYTHING worse.  The good thing is that melatonin is cheap and easy to get.  Health food stores, supermarkets, Walmart.  Just look in the herbal supplements aisle and you’ll find it. 

But before you open the bottle and swallow a handful, I have one thing to remind you.  “A-TONIN”!!!  It’s a HORMONE.  Now go back to the first paragraph and re-read it so you don’t start acting like an ass wipe.  Because too much melatonin means you’re adding too much of a hormone into your bedtime ritual.  Trust me, you don’t want to do that!  I’m speaking from experience when I say your dreams will SUCK!  The characters in your dreams will be 7th graders with PMS performing Menopause, The Musical.  And not in a good way!   

I’ve been taking melatonin.  One of Steven’s doctors prescribed it so he could stop taking the coma producing sleeping pills he was on. Melatonin works like a charm for him.  The doc told him to take 10 mg.  So I started taking 10 mg.  Because it just comes from a health food store, right?   Yeah, it does.  It’s just a supplement here in the USA.  It’s OK for everyone, right?  Did you know that in other countries you need a prescription for it?  I didn’t, either!  But in retrospect…DUH!

captain crunch with a beerWell 10 mg. might be right for my big strapping husband, but for me, not so much.  I came to this revelationat 4 AM when I woke up sweating because I was dreaming that I was having a fist fight with a bouncer who was trying to throw me out of the topless bar, where I was having drink with my cocker spaniel Zack, who was wearing a dog in a sweaterturtleneck and drinking a beer out of a glass with our next door neighbor, Captain Crunch.  And even though the dream didn’t seem that weird at the time, the thing that made me cognizant of the situation being problematic was that I got up to pee and thought, “I wonder why my pee smells like nail polish remover?”  

And in a flash, Dr. Alexandra realized that it just might be the ‘A-TONIN’.  So I grabbed my laptop and started doing research and realized that a fake chiropractor probably shouldn’t be determining dosages of hormones.  And, before I take anything from the health food store, I have to remember to do a little research.  After all, I still sniff the milk before I drink it.  And I’ve only bought sour milk ONCE in my whole life.

Last night I had 1.5 mg and slept like a baby, dreaming of…well, nothing.  Melatonin is great.  And if you do research on it, it could possibly be a great help to cancer patients and survivors in many ways.  Of course, since it is an OTC thing, nobody wants to make any promises,  but I will tell you that none of our doctors are adverse to it.  But mind your dosages if you don’t want to be groggy the following day, if you take blood pressure meds or if you get freaked out by strange dreams.

So in answer to the original question, “How do you make a hormone?”  Don’t pay her!

Thank-you.  Good night.  Here all week.. Try the Veal……..

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I’D LOVE IT IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY E-MAILING LIST!  IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, BABY!  I DON’T SHARE MY TOP SECRET SUBSCRIBER LIST WITH ANYONE, SO YOU WON’T GET JUNK OR SPAM OR FOUND IF YOU’RE IN WITNESS PROTECTION!  I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW WHEN I POST A NEW ENTRY.  SUBSCRIBE HERE