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Monday, November 30, 2015

The Big "C"...

This time, I am referring to C=colonoscopy...yes today is prep day for me.  Blech.  I am hungry.  Chicken broth tastes good, but isn't filling.  DH is taking the kids out to dinner tonight so I don't have to cook or be around food.

Almost three years ago now, I wrote concerning the other Big "C", cancer.  My friends, DR and BB are still kickin', as is my SIL, though she is retiring now from a lifelong medical career.  My former pastor, has his ups and downs, but is hanging in there too.

So in retrospect, here is that post, again.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The "C" word, the Big C, comes in many forms--more than I can name off the top of my head for sure.  And I guess I have reached that point in my life where I notice cancer now, more than I did when I was younger.  It seems I now know a fair number of people who are or were afflicted with cancer in some form.

My friends DR and BB, my SIL, my former pastor, a Blogger's family member just diagnosed, a guy from our church and my MIL, who just lost her second battle with cancer.

DR is the reason I willingly subject myself to a colonoscopy on a regular schedule--because his colon cancer went too far, and after attacking his liver has moved into his lungs.  They found pre-cancerous polyps in me the first go-round, and removed them.  But I will always be wary now, and get my gut checked, because eventually cancer will steal my friend from this earth, because he didn't get it checked in time.

Then there is my friend BB, who is a true rarity in this world.  He is a 5yr+ male lung cancer survivor.  He is also one heck of a cyclist and I can only wish I was half as fast as he, on twice the lung capacity!

My SIL (sister in law), fighting a battle with an unusual oral cancer.  We like to joke with her about all the Chaw (smokeless tabacco) she must be using to have contracted Snuffers Cancer.  (She doesn't chew or smoke at all.)  But I see the pain it has caused her and the way it has affected her quality of life.

The young man BK, from our church who fought Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and won, only to die from a cold he caught while his immune system was still suppressed...

Our former pastor, now retired, who we recently learned has a form of leukemia.  We haven't heard from them recently but last I heard they were waiting for him to get worse before starting treatment.  I do not understand that.

And my mother in law...we lost her to cancer last month.  It was not her first rodeo with the Big C.  She'd beaten it once, way back in the 1980's. when treatments were not so refined.  That was an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma, and the docs I think were quite surprised that she kicked cancer's ass!  The cancer that stole her from us, was a different beast--unrelated to the original one they say.

I suppose in hindsight, I knew something was wrong back in September when we visited her.  But I couldn't "see" it until after we got the call in November that she was in hospital, and it wasn't good news.  Never one to complain, she bore her pain with a quiet dignity.  She was able to be cared for at home, by family and hospice.  No tubes or extreme measures, just peace and quiet, surrounded by those who loved her.

There's not a lot I can do personally in the big scheme of things called cancer.  I guess the small things will have to suffice.  I can donate a little cash to worthy research groups, and perhaps more importantly, I can show my support for those afflicted.  Paul the Apostle perhaps said it best...

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NIV 1984)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Decluttering is somewhat theraputic

Hi everyone, I'm Monkeywrangler, and I'm a Pack Rat.  It's been 12 years 4 months since my last decluttering.

Yes, we've lived in this home for 12 years now, and both DH and I suffer from PackRat-osis, the inability to throw away stuff, that might some day be useful again.  Moving seems to be the best/only way we can declutter.  You'd be amazed at the amount of crap we have already pitched in the dumpster!  I know I am...

The house is actually starting to look decluttered, and after Saturday, when we rent a 17' Uhaul for 12 hrs to move the excess furniture we are keeping, the place will look darned empty to me!  We have culled heavily, our book collection.  That was tough too.  We are both avid readers, and are loathe to get rid of books unless we did not like them.  We will be moving 8 book cases of various sizes to storage, and have gotten nearly ALL the books we are keeping, boxed and stored too.

Some furniture besides book cases, are going to storage too, like DH's large dresser (we will share my bigger one instead), and three larger old sentimental pieces.  The dog couch is going on the curb.  It's been a good couch, a double recliner by Lane in microfiber, but it's gotta go.  Once we are in the new place, we will look at getting a used leather couch for the hounds to inhabit.  Maybe.

Once the furniture is out/moved around etc, we will be ready for the professionals to come in for their jobs like flooring and paint.  Yeah, it isn't cheap to have it done by the pros, but the end results will be much better than we could do, considering the volume of work we want done prior to going on the market.

Then the kids and I will shift into maintenance mode, just keeping things from getting messy again, while DH is our boots on the ground in the new town.  His job is starting there next week, and the commute is too long to be safe for him every day, with his sleep issues.  So he is going to do the Brigid-thing, and have an efficiency apartment during the week, and come home on weekends and days off.  So he will be working with the realtor up there, much like I did when we moved to Winchester KS so many years ago.  Back then, I worked the swing shift, and would go see houses in the mornings with our buyers agent, and report back to DH when I got home at night.  We both know what we are looking for in a new property, so it won't be difficult to know if a given house is "right" for both us.

Wish us luck..the adventure is truly under way!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ah, the joys of being a weather watcher

Yes, at 03:30 this morning, DH woke me up, saying it was about to get sporty out there.  The predicted storms had arrived.  I got up grudgingly, and within 15 min, they had sounded the sirens for a tornado due to track over our house. Joy....

So we rousted the sleeping Monkeys, and wrangled them into the storm shelter. Then they cancelled the first warning, but almost immediately issued one for a similar track. So here we sit, more worried about the dogs than anything.  The dogs will NOT go down into the shelter, not even for bacon!  So they stay in the house, and we pray for the best.

At least, because of our ham radio hobby, we get more advance notice on storms and warnings.  And that beats being woken up by the county sirens every time!

Friday, November 13, 2015

FrankenShiloh of the Nine Lives

Last night we had an unexpected scare.  Or really, I guess there wasn't anything scary until the aftermath of the incident became clear.  DH and the kids were cutting up some yard debris and hauling it from the back yard to the trash pile out front that the city has failed to come pick up for two days... Go figure, my tax dollars at work, eh?

Unbeknownst to us, Monkey2 forgot to tie the gate shut.  Somebody, whose name rhymes with Shiloh, is a "runner" at heart, and failed to resist the temptation of said open gate, and off she ran, unseen and unnnoticed by us.

A bit later, as I was cooking dinner, frantic Monkeys ran into the kitchen telling me Shi was hurt, "real bad", and that there must've been a dog fight.  Funny, we had not heard any dogsquabbles...

I went to assess the damage and injuries, only to discover, there she was in fact hurt.  She had a nickle-sized hunk of skin torn on the side of her head (see below), and what appeared to be a much larger one on her inside back leg.  I knew she needed a vet visit, as I couldn't safely close the injury to her head, and she wouldn't let me get a good look at her back leg.
She was clearly in pain, but walking fine, though sitting was done gingerly.  While waiting there at the vet office, I discovered an ear injury, by seeing the dripping blood.  Joy, always messy, those ear injuries.  But something just didn't seem right about it being a dog fight.  DH said the other two were uninjured.
The vet got a good look at the leg with the help of my flashlight, and abruptly informed me that it wasn't a fight, but that it looked distinctly like road rash.  Looking at it myself, and having had and treated human road rash, I had to agree.   Then I saw the black 'dirt' marks on her front leg.  Ever wipe your hand along a car tire, and have it come away all filthy?  Yep.  Somehow, Shiloh tangled with a moving car, and managed to survive with only minor injuries.

The vet stapled her head injury closed, hence the Frankenstine reference, and superglued the ear tear shut.  The leg abrasion gets a gentamicin spray 3x daily.  There are some oral pain meds, and an oral antibiotic so the head wound doesn't get infected.  And, poor thing, she must wear the dreaded Cone of Shame!

Provided she can get it off of Monkey2.  Yes, dear Monkey2 donned the Cone of Shame briefly, as he was the guilty party who failed to shut the gate.  Shiloh says it looks much better on him, than it does on her!

Shiloh is going to be fine.  She is sore, bruised, and  little skittish about being handled, but there appear to be NO orthopedic or internal injuries.  She ate well last night, and is moving fine.  She is much better about being in the Cone, that dear old Cody was--she at least hasn't knocked anything over yet!

I'm not sure how many lives she burned last night, tangling with the car, but I am so relieved that she survived, and is going to be OK.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy 240th Birthday!

Wishing all current and former United States Marines a very happy 240th birthday!

Semper Fidelis!