What Are The Chances?

These days, I almost hate to blog.  It seems, most of what I have to say has been about turmoil or bad news, but that’s the way 2015 has been for us.  It helps to blog about it, and maybe, one day, I can look back and laugh about all of the things Ed and I survived this year.  For now, it’s not so funny.

I mentioned, earlier in the week, I was waiting for some biopsy results from a couple of growths.  On Wednesday, I got the dreaded call.  One of the biopsies showed I have basal cell carcinoma on my face, beside my nose.  What are the chances my daughter and I both have the same type of cancer, at the same time, in almost the same place?

Brandy will be having her Mohl’s surgery on December 1, and I’ll be having mine in January. Neither of us are looking forward to it!  We’ve been told to plan to spend the day at the doctor’s office!  The doctor will remove the skin of the affected area one layer at a time, and examine it under the microscope for cancer cells.  If cells are still detected, they’ll go back and remove another layer of skin.  This process continues until the specimen looks clean under the microscope, then they sew you up.  The whole process can take quite a while.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  In my daughter’s case, she will have the extra step of visiting the plastic surgeon immediately after the Mohl’s surgery, too.

I also mentioned, earlier in the week, how I was about to go out of my mind trying to find health insurance coverage for next year.  Ed and I have looked at health care plans until our eyes are about ready to pop out of our heads.  I think we’ve figured out what we are going to do.  We never were able to find coverage with all four of my doctors as providers, so we’ll settle for three out of four, and pay the “out-of-network” difference for the fourth doctor because that’s the best choice available to us.

What are the chances that Ed and I would have a visit from a couple of  life insurance salesmen, last week? I’d sent in a card requesting some information (for myself), not realizing salesmen would actually come calling.  Anyway, the men were very nice and there was no pressure to buy anything, but in the course of our conversation, they began to ask questions about Ed’s current life insurance coverage.  After doing some checking, it turns out, the insurance policy Ed bought, many years ago, isn’t quite what he thought it was going to be.  It’s okay, for now, but this may not be the case in years to come.  We’ve discovered, this week, nobody will sell you life insurance if you’ve recently survived a heart attack. Sigh.

What are the chances that I would wake up on Thursday morning with my back “out of whack” again?  I don’t know what I did wrong, if anything, but, after over three weeks of being pain-free, I’m having issues again.  There’s some difficulty in going from sitting to standing, and I have some pain on the right side. (Last time it was on the left side)  What else can I say?

At any rate,  even with all of our issues, I continue to try to remind myself– Things could always be worse, because I believe that’s true.  For example:

(1)At least my daughter and I discovered we have skin cancer before it was too late.

(2)At least I’ll have some type of health care coverage, next year, even if it doesn’t quite meet all of my needs

(3) At least Ed has some life insurance coverage, even if it’s not quite what he thought it was.

(4) And, at least I now have a neurologist, whom I can call if my back doesn’t improve.

When all is said and done, it’s the little things, people, like looking for a silver lining in those “clouds of life”, and waiting for those “clouds” to move on…  That’s exactly what I’m trying to do!

Published in: on November 20, 2015 at 10:28 am  Comments (6)  
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Falling To Pieces With The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

As if you couldn’t tell by today’s title, I’m having another bad week.  Thank goodness for this little mid-week distraction called The Hodgepodge, and a big thank you to our hostess, Joyce, for providing it!  Let’s get right to the questions, shall we?

1. What’s surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

I’m surprised by how quickly time is passing, and how quickly Ed and I have gotten old.  Years ago, I knew this day would eventually come, but I wasn’t expecting it to come this quickly!

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year…awesomesauce, beer o’clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.

Your thoughts? 

I think, by adding such ridiculous words, the Oxford English Dictionary has become a bit ridiculous, but to each his own!

  In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous?  beer o’clock

Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? buttdial

Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?  Cat cafe, because we actually have a wooden structure, built by Ed, where most of our outside cats go to eat their meals each day.  At the time it was built, we needed a high, covered area away from our five dogs, where the cats could dine in peace.  As a joke, we named it the Cat Cafe.

3. Do you like gravy? Yes

Is there a food you’d rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Yes, mashed potatoes!

Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety?  I make my own.

Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy…which one on the list is your favorite? Pot roast and gravy is my favorite.  Yum!

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

Yes, I have some sort of a plan because I need a plan to have peace of mind.  And, yes, we’ve had many plans fall into a trillion pieces, but never more than this year!  In fact, our plans are still falling to pieces, as I write!   2015 has been the most trying year of my life!

Plans that fell into a trillion pieces?  Let’s see:  How about 1998, when our daughter’s fiance’ bailed out on her in the midst of their wedding planning?  How about the year 2001, when our oldest son (and honor graduate) dropped out of college after winning The Presidential Scholarship (all tuition paid) the year before?  Or how about this year when Ed lost his job on January 16th, disrupting our well-laid plans for retirement in 2016?

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game?  Yes, we own a [very old] original Monopoly game.

Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? I like playing Monopoly, but it takes too long to play.

How likely is it you’ll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Not very likely.

Ever been to Atlantic City? No.

Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Only at the Jacksonville Zoo

Is parking in your town free? Yes

Last thing you took a chance on? Can’t remember.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?  The theme from the television show “The Golden Girls”.

7. In keeping with this month’s theme of gratitude….what is something you’re taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you’re grateful for?



Most of you know what a trying year 2015 has been for Ed and me.  It looks like it’s going to be ‘trying’ right up until the end!

I had to undergo a [freezing] treatment for a “pre-cancerous” lesion on the bridge of my nose, last Thursday.  I had two other ‘suspicious’ places biopsied, as well, and am waiting for those results to come back.

Our daughter also had some biopsies done, about a month ago, and discovered she has basal cell carcinoma on her nose.  She’ll be having Mohl surgery performed, along with plastic reconstructive surgery, on December 1.  When it rains it pours.

Because Ed lost his job (and our health care benefits), this year, and we are now retired and on a fixed income, I am forced to shop for health insurance in “the market place” (at Healthcare.gov). I have not been able to find a healthcare plan, for next year, that lists all three of my doctors as providers and pays for all four of the prescription drugs I have to take.  I’m about to lose my mind…


Published in: on November 18, 2015 at 8:21 am  Comments (8)  
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Friday Fragments…

It’s been a fairly uneventful week here in my neck of the woods, but, these days, I consider ‘uneventful’ a good thing!  I’m trying to get back into the habit of blogging more regularly, so here goes…

Ed and I are officially finished with the gardening season of 2015, and it feels SO good!  We canned the last of our tomatoes on Wednesday.  I was bummed when one of our pints of tomatoes didn’t seal, but that happens sometimes.  In all of our canning experiences, that was only our third mishap–and we’ve canned many jars of fruits and vegetables during the past three years.

Ed’s already mowed down almost all of the old garden plants.  Only my zinnias, some old corn stalks, a few peanuts, and some watermelons remain.  We plan to try some of Ed’s ‘home-grown’ boiled peanuts, this weekend!

Ed had a doctor’s appointment, on Tuesday, for his three month’s checkup.  We use the same primary care physician, and while Ed was seeing the doctor, he happened to ask Ed about me and my back problems.  Ed explained that I had been unable to get in to see a specialist, yet.  He went on to explain how the Prednisone I’d been prescribed on my last visit had helped my sciatica, until it eventually wore off.  The doctor then sent me a prescription for another round of Prednisone, to get me through until I can see a neurologist, on July 21.  God bless him!

We’re in the midst of another heat wave.  The rain has left us, and our temperatures are reaching back into the high nineties, again.  Hello, summer!  By 9 o’clock, each day, it’s already hot, but not as hot as it is by 3 o’clock!!!  I’m keeping a high velocity fan blowing in the chickens’ pen, in an effort to keep them as comfortable as possible.  Happy chickens lay more eggs!  Ours must be pretty content because our current egg count, since January, is 988 eggs from nine hens!

Our daughter and her husband FINALLY got their a/c repaired, yesterday.  They’d been relying on a smaller window unit for over a week and a half, since their a/c drain tray  to the central unit had developed a leak and flooded their ceiling.  Did I mention the entire family had been sleeping in the living room for a week and a half, as well?

Last Friday, Ed and I were in a Wal-mart Neighborhood Market when we saw somebody we hadn’t seen in almost two years.  Does anybody remember me blogging about Alex, the little baby boy our daughter used to keep?  Alex who was deaf, but got cochlear implants during the two years our daughter was keeping him?  Alex, whose mother got cancer and died this past March, at the age of 30?  Well, Ed and I saw Alex, who happened to be shopping with his grandparents!  He’s grown taller, but he still looks the same.  Believe it or not, little Alex turned 4 in February. That little fellow sure has been through a lot in just four short years, but, as usual, he was wearing his smile.

There’s a birthday celebration in the family, this weekend.  Our youngest, Brad, will turn 30 tomorrow.  How in the world did that happen?  If all goes well, the family will be gathering this evening to help him celebrate.  Because mamas like to look back and remember ‘the good ole’ days’, I’m re-sharing the birthday video I made for Brad on his 28th birthday.

Happy birthday, son. Just like the words of the song say, “You make your mother proud.”  I love you!

Published in: on July 10, 2015 at 7:29 am  Comments (4)  
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