Wind

When moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming, wind has to be your new best friend.  It is constant, either in a light, refreshing summer breeze, or a seventy mile per hour barrage of sleet in winter.  Spring and autumn bring winds with accompanying thundershowers and various sizes of hail, your cars’ delight.  Everything is affected by the wind.  It is obvious in winter when the forests of evergreens are snowy on one side and completely green on the other.  Plants and bushes are also one-sided, always leaning from the constant pressure of the wind.  As a result of this climate, residents usually have a jacket or sweater handy, dress casually with uncomplicated hairstyles, and hats.  It is a dry atmosphere without many umbrellas, which prove useless in the wind.  The most bothersome thing for me is the noise made by the rattling of metal objects on nearby air conditioning units, or rooftop fans.  The sounds remind me of childhood when roof shingles flew off and into the yard.  Ripping, tearing, and finally slapping down on the pavement. Settling in to the ever present moving air took some time, but I don’t mind it anymore.  

Cancer, bladder cancer information web sites

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Not much to say, but when looking over insurance papers from last year’s cancer experience, I came across some web addresses that may interest you, if you have cancer, bladder cancer, etc. or know someone who could benefit from this information, please share. I included my site at Caringbridge.org.  A great place for sharing information with friends and family without having to contact each one individually. I was blessed to have my daughter write the posts for me – before, during, and after diagnosis and treatment. Caringbridge.org lets you share info to any contacts you choose, when you may not feel up to contacting them yourself. And it’s free.

I will add that when my husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and had to be away in a hospital for a month, my daughter also kept everyone informed through the Caringbridge.org site. You may check out my section there, and his, under James Wood. My husband was not as fortunate as I was, and passed away after a grueling month in the hospital, in 2013. You are welcome to visit these sites and comment here, if you wish. I would also like your feedback on the info ones mentioned above.  Thank you.

You win some, you lose some.

It’s the winning that helps you overcome the losing.

I was given wonderful news today. I am receiving compensation from my insurance for my cancer diagnosis in February last year. It could not have come at a better time. I had put this information in the back of my brain for a while. It’s been a year and a half, and I’m still here, so time to revisit this condition. It’s not like I can forget it completely. Of course, every day the urostomy is a reminder. But not to worry….I am still here, enjoying my family, and very happy.

I’m going back to the VA hospital this coming week as a volunteer. I had some doubts about showing up in a wheelchair – if I could be helpful and not a reminder of the patients’ plight, but I’m going to give it a try. It is time to get out of myself and help others, which I love to do.  

The good news I received comes at a particularly good time. I feel elated! This is a fine example of getting a lemon, and making lemonade, which I love. I wanted to share this because the few of you who follow me know I’ve been sort of down-in-the-dumps lately. But like our weather here in Wyoming, there’s sun, then thundershowers, hail, and then sun again. Mother Nature has a good attitude.

All dressed up with no place to go?

https://rugby843.wordpress.com/Okay, so here I am all dressed up with no place to go. I use “dressed up” loosely, because most of the time my clothes consist of a t shirt and leggings, trousers. You notice I didn’t say pants – apparently we Americans have it all wrong. Pants to the rest of the world means underwear. So I usually wear pants and trousers of some type. I have a urostomy, so can’t do a full shower or bath every day. But I do feel better in general, when dressing up, fixing my hair, and wearing a bit of makeup. At my age, a lot of makeup just makes me look older! “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”. My grandson takes me everywhere. One time I was getting ready and he asked why I put on makeup. “So I look my best”, I replied. He said, “you look the same”. I advised him never to say that to a woman. But added, when she’s wearing no makeup and you think she’s beautiful, tell her then.

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It is hard to feel attractive when you have an urostomy.  Even though not visible under clothing, you know it’s there.  And being in a wheelchair is especially hard.  Even though I don’t feel my age (most of the time) I must appear totally helpless and insignificant.  People don’t look at me, they look to the person with me to answer any questions they have.  It’s as if I am not there.  Even if I speak to them directly and smile, they don’t usually pay attention.  I have to speak up and look them in the eye for them to realize my brain doesn’t need a wheelchair, just my legs do.  I noticed this years ago when still able to use a cane.  Either people were too helpful or let the door slam on me. Of course, letting the door slam on people is just bad manners for anyone.  I’m lucky my children and grandchildren have great manners.

Hey, just got a call to go to the mall!  Luckily I am ready.

Overthinking

img_2288I hate to admit I am guilty of this. I think it is a result of spending too much time alone, or too much coffee….In either case, I am unable to fall asleep at night even if I am tired. Something about the night or darkness?  My mind just won’t shut down and let me relax. I uselessly go over things, decisions I’ve made, consequences, what I should have or could have done better. As a parent, I’m sure we all do this to a degree. As a grandparent I try to be a better “parent” than I was with my own children. Looser, more amenable to their attitudes, actions, and decisions. As a mother of two boys and a girl I have mixed feelings on things.  At the time, you have to take responsibility for the advice you give.  The peer pressure put on kids with everything in your face…videos, movies, magazines, Internet, all of these can undermine the basic values even the best parents try to teach. Trusting they will make the “right” decisions is difficult, but necessary for parents these days. Communication is key.

Of course these are my opinions only. I think the pressure put on kids today from all sides is tremendous. And then there is the violence happening everywhere, no town or person is immune. I was in a one room schoolhouse until seventh grade. I remember the duck and cover drills, however useless they were, being scary for us as children. The sixties race riots when we lived in TX. Then the Vietnam war on television, in your face every night. Troubling times. All of that not as intimidating as it is today for our young people, when a trip to the store, or the movies could be their last trip anywhere. You may think I sound overly pessimistic. I really am not. I do feel there is a considerable rising amount of worrisome happenings for children today. I saw a graph of suicide where ten year olds were portrayed. Horrifying.

If you read this, I would be anxious to know your thoughts and opinions.

Uncomfortably Numb

I haven’t written anything for a while. I have been feeling sad about a personal relationship, so not inclined to be cheery here. Time passes fast some days and drags others. Keeping a positive attitude is a difficult task these days. It’s easy to stay under the covers and remain “comfortably numb”, but life never works that way. I am enjoying the visits from my grandkids now that school is out. Being busy with sports, etc. makes those times infrequent, but very special. Short and sweet?  I need this damselfly to remind me about change.

Sad times

It seems there is so much violence, so many unhappy and disturbed people now.  And they take it out in dangerous, horrible ways.  One minute you are reading about fifty innocent people trying to have fun, and the next minute they are a tragic story.  Are you as tired and discouraged as I am with this?  

I try to stay positive.  I have problems, some explained here in detail. We all do.  This week it has been a challenge to stay focused on the good things in my life, and I am privileged to have many of them. I watched with pride as two granddaughters graduated from high school.  I saw an improved attitude in a troubled boy.  I admired a family’s pictures of  two women getting married.  So happy.  This is all love.  Love of family, friends.  They say love conquers all, but not this week in Florida.  

The dragonfly is an ancient symbol of change.  Let us stop this violence.  Help make a change near you.

Children see each other as they see themselves, they don’t pick apart the skin color, the religion, the single or married parents.  They just want friends to play with.  I wish we could all see through to the person inside, like a child.

Very serious this posting.  But it’s been a serious week.  A time to reflect upon the good things in our life, to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.  Appreciate your fellow man.

Actions after diagnosis

imageI am sharing this media star’s report with you because I think she made the wrong decision and it could have taken her life.  Her experience is shared openly and I admire her for that.  My opinion is that when she first noticed a problem she should have acted on her instincts and taken her doctor’s advice.

My own experiences occurred twenty years apart.  But the first one definitely caused the second one.  I didn’t know that was a possibility at the time.  My worry was the 80% chance they gave me of getting breast cancer.  Was warned repeatedly by my oncologist about this.  Bladder cancer from radiation was not in my mind at all. I was told that the uterine cancer could occur again, even after my total hysterectomy. After the typical five year period they give you, I thought I was free and clear.  However if any other serious health problems came up, I always thought the cancer had come back.  It’s always in the back of your mind somewhere, lurking.  As it turned out, the internal radiation I received via the uterine cancer is what my current doctors are sure caused the bladder cancer.  Bladder cancer chemotherapy hasn’t changed much at all since the 1970s.  New treatments are coming. I was fortunate to not have the chemo and radiation was out of the question.  I had a pet scan before surgery to determine what they would have to do.  I knew they would remove the bladder but wanted to know what else.  Luckily the surgery worked and the post surgery chemo was determined to be unnecessary.

The bottom line for me is to recognize any unusual problems you have, not just with the kidneys or bladder, etc, but anything at all that your instincts tell you isn’t quite right, and have yourself checked.  It will be worth it, not just for peace of mind, but to catch things early enough to get effective treatment.