Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cancer Live Update!

Mom is at home and resting and being restless... She is getting back on her meds and that is a rough ride and she is still tired but bored and restless. I thought she might sleep a bit more but I think the 44 oz Diet Pepsi my brother got her - post treatment and post special diet - hyped her up but good.

She returns to the James Thursday - for follow up and another full body scan. My brother is handling that trip. Then she will be meeting with the grand Po-Ba again at some point to establish a next course of action.

Next week she has me lined up to run errands and tackle the remaining boxes from her move. A little Spring Cleaning!

I am really happy with how well it has all gone really. Better than expected - now we just wait and hope the RAI does its job!

I think I love Norton...

We all know my lap top melted down before Christmas and I was lucky enough to get a new one from Santa Claus. I love my new laptop. We had to get to know each other and the keyboard is different from the Dell, so my typing was off a tad for a while, but I am smooth sailing now.

The HP came loaded with some great software and I bought some great software also.

Norton was preloaded and frankly I really like it... way better than the freaky Spysweeper stuff that the Dell came with! So I renewed. I followed the links and I paid my money and then hit a huge road block.

I was struggling to get it to download. After a frustrating 6 tries, I finally opted for LIVE CHAT! WOW! Not only was the person helpful, he was able to log onto my machine and was able to unload the old version of the product and then download the good stuff. Showed me how to trouble shoot the auto updates and Windows VISTA firewall and was so pleasant!

It felt kinda funny having someone log onto my machine - but frankly I was out of options and the old stuff had expired - given that I had given myself a few days to figure it all out and well that did not work out so well.

But I think it was a great example of super customer service. He was helpful and thoughtful and through...

I not only like the features of the Norton 360 - I very much thought the customer service was good. I also thought their help menus are well written - I just am not that computer savvy to make it happen!

Go Norton!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wow - I am a real writer now...

So, about a month ago, I applied to the Kenyon Review's summer workshop. I submitted some prose and some of my poems and thought - well let's see what happens. I had seen their ad in the Poets & Writers Magazine.

I got in! Yep! I was accepted to the program. I will be spending a week this summer working on my poetry. I am thrilled really!

Further proof that I am a real writer - I am going to read at an open mic night in March... kinda scared about that one - but going for it anyway.

And the last tiny bit of evidence?

I was invited to a Read-A-Loud with the online journal I have had published some short fiction with! That will be in April.

I am feeling warm and bubbly. It is amazing when you pursue your passion and realize a dream!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cancer Live - Again!

So this morning it was a repeat of Monday. Up at 5 am to my mom's around 6:30 am and on road. Parking at the valet and then to admitting. That process went smooth as could be and then we waited and watched The Early Show. Eventually her room was ready. It is all decked out in Hazmat Plastic. The room itself is lead lined to keep the radiation in and everyone else protected.

I mean everything is covered in plastic. Even the shower and the toilet.

We waited and then a PCA and nurse came and went. We had a visit from the Radiation Protection Officer and then eventually they came and took us to the area where they would conduct her full body scan.

I waited until they took her back and now I am out. I cannot see her for at least a week. After the scan she will go back to the room and then she will have to drink a to be determined amount of radioactive iodine based on the scan today. (and some other factors I think.)

Then she sleeps and waits until she is less hot and can go home. To be in isolation there.

I plan to call and check on her tonight - but if it is anything like last time (2003) she will like be asleep until they send her home.

I have been updating my facebook with my comings and goings and PDA - our friend in Germany commented today that his parents would be at the James today at noon - and sure enough as I walked out to my car - I saw them. Small world.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Latest Gig!

Here is my latest gig...

I am the Business and Career Editor. I will be posting ideas and other blogs weekly. Have an idea or something you want to hear about - drop me a line... The site will launch formally in a few days!


Cancer Live!

So today I was up at the crack of dawn (5 am) and picked my mom up around 6:20 am and headed down to the James. May I say valet parking rocks there! May I also say that I am not sure the Ritz could have done a better job that early in the morning? Everyone was helpful, guided us where we needed to go. All before most people have had their first cup of coffee.

Registration, check. Visit to vampire, check. Tracer dose of I-131, check. Wait an hour... get scanned, check. Back at mother's having tea, check.

And guess what? We get to do it again - same time - on Wednesday. Only on Wednesday, I will leave her there and she will have to stay for 2 to 3 days and then she has to be in isolation at home - for 7 days.

That is the hard part, as I will not be able to see her then - since the kiddos can be impacted by the radioactive fall out. So if she needs something - I can drop it on the porch but cannot go in.

So it is onward and upward... I think I need a nap...

Friday, February 13, 2009


So today I engaged in a bit of recon. I set out to visit the Hospital where mom is going to have her treatment next week. I had the google map, the map provided by the hospital and the directions. I drove my route, timed it, parked in a garage and set out to walk the course and check the place out.

We will be at the James - on the OSU Campus. I avoid campus like the plague. I did not go to school there and frankly it is a scary place to be in your car by my estimation. But Mom has to be at the hospital both times way way early in the morning and she is seriously exhausted being hypo thyroid and all. I thought it better to have a solid game plan and so recon today seemed a good idea.

I wanted to know what I was going up against and make sure that we were not lost wandering around campus in the dark on Monday morning!

I am so glad I did. The maps - kinda inaccurate. The place I parked - way far away from where we needed to be. So I asked for some assistance, and got some really good answers and I have a plan for Monday... I revised my map and I now know exactly what I am going to be doing. Valet parking is the key and I plan to go that route. If not I have scoped out a back up parking garage.

After the recon mission - I had coffee and lunch with a friend :) Who works nearly on top of the hospital.

So hopefully now, the entire process will go smoothly - at least the getting there part!

Monday, February 9, 2009

5 miles - the next day

I am happy to report that the hip is ok, a touch stiff - but the two rounds of ice did the trick. My ankle is likewise ok. A bit of a lingering hint of an ache but two rounds of ice did the trick.

Of all things - my abs are sore. I forgot that running is serious exercise for the core also! Good posture and all that.

Now the runner's high was divine, but it did precious little for me in the writing department. I could scarcely focus. So I guess I am going to give it a go later today or tomorrow...

Can't have a writer's high and a runner's high simultaneously I guess. Mores the pity!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

5 miles

Ran five miles today in under an hour...not shabby for the first time out since fall. My hip aches a bit and ankle - eh, when the runners high wears off I may be in for it... Sitting here with ice as I type.

But the runners high and the lovely spring like day... worth the price I think...

Running clears the head and makes me happy. I was desiring a touch of extra happy...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cooking on the edge!

Well perhaps I have discovered a new calling! Perhaps I could go into special dietary needs catering. Mom says everything tastes good and that her co workers have all said everything smells great!

She has eaten a fair amount of what I made, so I am going for round 3 tomorrow - to see her thru the next week.

The 16th - her 61st B-day is her prelim appointment and then on the 18th she will be in patient getting the big dose of Radioactive Iodine!

Right now she is exhausted - having been off her meds for 10 days and having absolutely no thyroid hormone at all. Just exhausted and cold...

So we are going for more mini meatloaves and more lemon chicken! And some more applesauce muffins!

Also this week, I plan to do a trial run driving to the James to scout parking - since we have to arrive at the crack of dawn both days....

Thursday, February 5, 2009


everyone has one. Is entitle to their own. Stephen King can say all he wants, but I happen to think the Twilight Series is wonderful. It is a wonderful love story and I think they are well written.

I was not as sold on the Harry Potter books. And well most Stephen King novels give me nightmares at best and an upset stomach at worse.

So see - we all have a differing opinion....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Food Panic

I was talking to my mom yesterday. She started the Iodine Free or Low Iodine diet on Sunday. I was checking to see how she was doing. She is doing well. She and my bro cooked some over the weekend - so she had some additional choices. She was surprised that things tasted ok without salt and I dropped her off the Kosher Salt I had bought yesterday. She did without salt as a seasoning on Sunday and part of yesterday.

I have talked about it before - but she said she could totally relate to it now. Food panic. I get this every so often when I think about venturing out to a place I have never been before or before I travel.

Let's face it. I can eat next to nothing processed and my meals require much planning. I always travel with my own food - but it is a challenge and going somewhere new sends me into fits occasionally. I mean we rented an ridiculously large beach house this fall- because I had a very real fear(or near moment of panic) of being trapped in a hotel room with no kitchen and no way to cook for myself for seven days. I like Lara Bars - but seriously how many can you eat in a week and not go crazy. Same goes for bananas and apples with peanut butter. Trust me there was not Whole Foods or similar for hours...

While I loved our trip to NYC - I will admit to being very hungry when we got home. Very hungry. Because I was eating very little that trip. Fruits, veggies, and boiled eggs and then the Gluten Free snacks I had packed myself. That was it. Some potato chips for crunch... While we ate well on Friday - the rest of the trip was more snacks for me.

So yesterday she said she totally got a taste of that panic. She was afraid what she had brought to work might not be enough and she had that moment of panic of what could she do about that. It is a frantic feeling. But it passes.

In some ways I think discovering this issue I have - and going gluten free as an adult is easier. I am an adult and I have zero desire to cheat. But I also long for things I used to eat and now cannot. Had I been this way my entire life, I think it might not be such a big deal. Although peer pressure as a kid might have been tough. The desire to not be the kid with the freaky food issues. (Who am I kidding - I had freaky food issues as a kid - just had no idea what the cause was and therefore I felt even more freaky!)

But the feeling of food panic is real. It is a fact of life. I look at food very differently than most people. There is not much pleasure in food anymore. It is a means to an end. It is a central focus of my life - but not because I like it or find great pleasure in eating... it is a source of fear sometimes and other times it is just something I have to plan for and around. There is no spontaneity in my eating habits.

I know others feel this way. Anyone with food allergies will tell you - that you must always been thinking. There is no mindlessly eating to fill the time or just tasting something that looks good. There just isn't.


Another milestone! Even though I was exhausted and crabby - I hunkered down and wrote the 1000 words I needed to get me to 40,011! Yeah. The halfway point! I am so proud of myself. I am on pace to get to 80,000 and a complete 1st draft of the novel by March 15. That is the goal anyway.

I am reasonable happy with how the story is shaping up and it is a good story. So now I have to just stay focused and get it to the home stretch!