Monday, October 31, 2022

Surgery Update #4

The surgery will take place on Tuesday, November 1st, tomorrow as you read this. I've been busy and it's helped me to feel calm but now on Sunday morning, sitting in my bed writing this, I'm beginning to feel a bit jittery. 

Jittery, what a great word to describe this feeling. As you know, English is my second language and sometimes I'm kind of amazed at how these words pop up in my brain. Jittery! How I love this language. 

Jeanne will take me and wait until the surgery is over. This is both hospital protocol and of course something both she and I want. 

Jeanne has become family now. 

Jasmine is coming up to spend the night with Faith and look after her. 

Jeanne will pick me up the next day and how glad I will be to get home again. 

And how happy Faith will be to see me and I her. I must keep thinking good thoughts like that.

I've had major surgeries before and I know that once I'm inside the hospital, I will just relax and let the doctors and nurses take care of me. 

I will not be able to blog for a while afterwards. My Chromebook, which I got online, is designed for children to take to school, so it's very sturdy. I somehow missed that when I ordered it, but I've come to like it. 

I tell you, I tend to miss a lot when I order stuff online. 

I thank you in advance, my good friends, for your thoughts and prayers. 

I will let you know how I'm doing as soon as I can. 

An already written post about Joy will post on November 2nd. 

Sometime ago, I decided that Joy is important. I guess we all know that, but sometimes the worries and problems of life get in the way.

To remind myself and you of the joy of each month, as I see it, I hope to post something about Joy for the coming month as the first post of each month. 

Just to stay focused. On Joy. 

Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Great Nodule News

Some great news came from the scan I had on Monday. This was in preparation for a biopsy of the nodule in my right lung. 

The one I have been so scared and worried about. 

So there I am, in yet another of those big machines, ever so grateful that I'm not clustrophobic. That would make all these tests a nightmare, I can only imagine. 

A machine, something like this one. 

Anyway, there I am, when I hear an excited discussion between the doctor and other personnel. 

Then the doctor comes around the machine to where my head is and tells me that the nodule has shrunk to half its size. 

"And cancer doesn't shrink, I've never in my career seen a cancer that shrunk on its own," he said.

Then he told me he'd called for Dr. Gordon, my breast cancer doctor,  to come over to review the pictures. 

She came over and soon I heard her laughing, she's a laughing, smiling, fun doctor. 

They came over and told me that nothing will be done now. Instead they want to keep an eye on it, so I should come back and be tested in three months!!

So, if I could have, I would have danced a happy dance, instead I told Jeanne, who had patiently waited for me and we were both so happy. 

A small Starbucks was conveniently located by the hospital parking lot, right in front of my car. Jeanne got me a cup of coffee and a snack, perfect food to break my fast. I'm not at all good at fasting, and even worse at missing my morning coffee. 

Jeanne and I have decided to make this cancer journey into an adventure. And it really helps. 

With this good news, the mastectomy is on again. Jeanne and I are going back to Bakersfield so I can be fitted with a camisole on the 31st. I don't understand the camisole, but once I see it, I guess I will. I think it's for people who wear bras, which I rarely need to do. 

The good thing is, we'll have another adventure. It will be Halloween, after all, so maybe we'll meet up with some witches and goblins.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Surgery Update #3 ~ The Doctor Called

Last week, my doctor called to let me know that the latest biopsy, the one on the left side, was OK, no cancer there. 

I was pretty sure myself all along that my lymph nodes had reacted to the covid booster I had around that time. 

But getting it confirmed was of course great. 

Dr. Gordon said she's so ready to get on with the surgery, which will happen after the 24th, which is Monday, when the nodule in my lung will be biopsied.  

Phew, I don't think I ever used the word "nodule" before in my life, and now I seem to talk about them constantly. 

Dr. Gordon called the lung nodule, which is one cm, so very small, something to that effect, "small thing in your lung, not very concerned with it, but will, of course, discuss with the lung doctors." 

To know that she wants to go ahead with the surgery feels good. 

So now, I just have to wait until next week to find out if I have lung cancer or not.

Personally, I feel that one cancer at a time is enough. 

But then I smoked in my younger days, my parents smoked all their lives, so I was exposed to cigarette smoke since childhood. My mom stopped when we were small, but picked it up later. 

And my dad died of lung cancer. 

So there it is, as Errol used to sometimes say...

Faith: Hmm, not sure what's going on here. I need to have a conversation with mommy soon, because I'm beginning to worry. 

Too many big words that I just don't understand. Nodules, cancer, surgery???

But no matter what happens, I'm mommy's support dog forever and ever. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

One Day Last Week


I buy an orchid. I didn't want one of the more common colors, so I was happy they had a variety of colors at the store.

I go to the Walmart pharmacy to get my flu shot. I wait a very long time, so I amuse myself with taking pictures of, among other things, their ceiling. 

I'm stopped by a train with wood posts on top and graffiti on the side of the cars.  

While waiting, I notice that I finally managed to put 5,000 miles on my car. It took me a year and three months. My car should be driven more, probably. But I love it, it's so nice and reliable and fun to drive. And that's what is important. 

Back home, I drive past Joyce's fields covered in rabbit brush bushes, now displaying their yellow blooms. 

And I'm greeted by one of her gray horses. This horse is very large and so beautiful. I had to check with Joyce to be reminded that she is a Warlander, and her mother, who also lives on Joyce's ranch, is an Andalusian. A Warlander is a cross between an Andalusian and a Friesian. In case you wondered...

In the evenings, I like to sit outside and watch the reflection of the setting sun on the hills and mountains. 

As another nice day comes to an end, Faith and I go to bed, I'm under the covers, she's on her blankie at the far end of the vacant side of the bed. 

I would love to be able to say that I then read a good book until I fall asleep, but lately I've been immersed in the Britbox show Shetland. I've fallen in love with the beauty of the islands, with the Scottish way of speaking, and the really good actors. 

And the fact that neither criminals nor police, with some exceptions, carry  guns. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

My Ancestors, Maybe


The Vikings were the first people to sail beyond the sight of land.

Thinking about sailing beyond the sight of land for the very first time really means something to me, as someone who has spent a lot of time sailing during my life.

I think about how they could not be sure to find their way back home. I wonder how this spread among them. After the first boat sailed, how did others know to set out as well. 

I now have the DVD and the accompanying book about the Vikings from The Great Courses. I'm looking forward to learning more about these people I hope were my ancestors from long ago.

This has also made me interested in learning about my DNA. I look so very Scandinavian, that I've always thought there's no doubt where I come from, but then, you never know, so I will order a kit. 

Sunday Morning Reflections

I have no words to go with this sky. 

Friday, October 14, 2022

Feathers As Spiritual Symbols

Jane sent this photo of a beautiful feather she found somewhere in the Sierras. 

As you know, my health situation is a bit uncertain at the moment so I wondered about feathers as spiritual symbols. What may it mean that I was sent, well not the actual feather, which I'm sure Jane left where she found it, but this wonderful photo. 

So I googled it.

I read a bit about the many different meanings of finding a feather and feathers in general.

I decided to settle on this, which I copied:

For hundreds of years, feathers have long been an integral part of many of the sacred ceremonies performed within Native American cultures and societies. Such as the Iroquois tribe and their Great Feather dance which was performed to thank the gods for all of their blessings such as land, animals, water, and food.

Prayers of gratitude make so much sense to me. 

Thank you, Jane, for the feather, I'm grateful for your friendship and your wonderful contributions to my blog. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Surgery Update #2

Some of you asked about my surgery. It has been postponed. 

The PET scan I had a few weeks ago found a one centimeter nodule in my right lung. If it turns out to be cancerous, I believe I will be treated with chemo for both cancers. 

The biopsy of the lung nodule was postponed from October 19 to October 24. With a weekend in-between, not that many working days, but once again, I get to practise my patience. 

This also means I get two weeks off from scans. Jeanne pointed out, that this could be a gift. 

I can eat, drink and be merry; check out my pancake lunch above. A little heavy on the whipped topping, I know. But I had no syrup, so that's my excuse. 

And I can take care of this:

Continue emptying my drawers at home of all things that don't bring me joy, to quote Marie Kondo. I'm so with her and love doing this. 

Get my flu shot. I earlier decided to only get the Covid booster, not the combination, so now I can get the flu shot taken care of. 

Get my hair cut. I don't know what will happen in the future, but facing it with a bit shorter hair will not hurt. 

So that's the plan, my friends. 

Monday, October 10, 2022

A Walk In The Hills

 with Faith

I followed the coyote trail 

through the clearing below the small hill by my house

until I came to the debris filled gully where our infrequent rains flow through. Here I could neither see any tracks nor safely follow had I seen them.

So with Faith leading the way, I climbed some more

passing this juniper, which has self-pruned its branches to help it survive this terrible drought. Junipers are very hardy trees, but this long drought is actually killing some on my land. 

Much to my surprise, we were out walking for 50 minutes. I so  love these cool and crisp early fall mornings. 

My life truly can't get any better than this.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'm thinking of the importance of early detection.

I was recently diagnosed with this cancer, which I also had 23 years ago.

Both times the cancer was detected early.


Through my annual mammogram.  

Please get one if yours is overdue.

Here Faith chews on a pink nylabone that I got for her in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Have a nice Sunday!

Friday, October 7, 2022

October Joys

Facing the health issues that have come my way, I have a choice of being upset or finding joy in my daily life. 

It may not always be easy, but I want to focus on joy. 

Here are a few of my joyful things for October:

Turkey Buzzards/Vultures

Every October more than 30,000 turkey buzzards migrate through the Tehachapi pass. The other night some of them decided to spend the night at Jeanne's place. 

Fat Bear Week 2022 is Underway:  

You can vote for the fattest bear in this competition or watch the bears catch salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska , something I do. I find it peaceful, bordering on boring, but a good boring. Soon you will have a favorite bear. To check them out, click below: 

Fat Bear Week 2022 isF October 5 - October 11. Your vote decides who is the fattest of the fat. Matchups will be open for voting between 12 - 9 p.m. Eastern ...

Rabbit Brush In Bloom

I was looking for Monarch butterflies, I saw a few fly by, but none in the bushes. Instead the bushes were covered in bees. Even bumble bees, which I haven't seen here for a long time.

An Early Morning Walk 

An early morning walk in the crisp, but not yet cold, October air is just the best.

October 10

This is the day when temperatures are projected to finally dip into the 70s in our area.


Have a great October.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

For Jeanne


                         By Jane B.

Jeanne, you are such a beautiful, kind, helpful, caring and oh, so smart woman. I feel so fortunate to be your friend and so glad that we have had a chance to spend more time together and that our friendship has grown because of it. 

I've always believed that something good can come out of a difficult situation. You chose to help me when I really had no one else, at least no one close by, who could. For this I'm immensely grateful, but even more grateful to now know you better and be better myself because of it. 

Thank you my friend and I hope you enjoy the fall colors from Mammoth Lakes in the photo my friends Jane and Vince sent. 


Monday, October 3, 2022

And Then There Was

one more nodule, this one in my lung, and one lymph node issue.  

The latter, I'm hoping, is probably from my Covid vaccine.

The nurse I spoke to on the phone was so kind, she said, "we hoped that the scan would be fine, I'm sorry."

So there will be no surgery at this time.

I'm thinking of my blogger friend who is living with stage 4 melanoma at the age of 39 (see below for the name of her book, which I highly recommend).

She has endured so many scans, so much bad news, she keeps living one day at a time. And recently her dream of having her book sold in a real bookstore came true. 

Congrats Elisa, I'm so happy for you. 

I've read about Elisa's scans, but never thought about what's involved in having a scan. Some are easy, provided you're not claustrophobic, others can be very painful. I had one that I will not describe, which bruised my ribs and bruised ribs can really hurt.

I think the job for me is to find joy in unexpected places and situations, like Adventist Health and Quest Labs, where it looks like I will spend some more time.  

After I cried recently, this conversation came to me.

Old Age: I thought you wanted to be old, live a long life.

Me: Yes, but...

Old Age: You got the gift of old age and it isn't always easy. So you need to deal with it!

Thoughts like that make me giggle. And giggle is good when faced with negative scan outcomes. 

I had some bad news. I am not alone getting bad news and I'm not alone dealing with it. 

So all is good. 


And the name of the book is: 

Two More Years, by E. C. Stilson

Two more years are what the doctors said Elisa had to live. So she wrote a book about her experience. She writes about her life, her kids, her husband and everyday life. It's not a sad book, I highly recommend it. 

The book is available on Amazon. And now in bookstores, yeah!!

Elisa's blog:

Thanks for listening.


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