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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Sunday, November 30, 2003  
Saturday Night Fever (couldn't resist)

Fever dreams are surreal and tiring. When I was a child, I had recurring dreams when I ran a fever. Doctors made house calls then, and the only one we had in our town lived two houses away from us. He asked Mother how I was doing, and she told him better after she got the rocks out of my bed. She humored me like that because they were very real and heavy. Another time I dreamed the children on my pajamas were too loud and kept making noise. Somehow she got them quiet. The dream that I'd have over and over, though, was one in which I had to follow this maze on paper which was made up of all kinds of lines like spaghetti. Washington and Napoleon and their troops were riding toward each other from a distance, and I had to sort out the maze to keep them from going to battle. It was all on me and very stressful. The dream would switch from the maze to their riding closer and closer toward each other. Usually I woke up before the battle began but not always. Then the soldiers would be on horseback and fight each other with swords.

Last night I dreamed during my fever which is ranging between 101-102 about a Hispanic Thanksgiving cooking contest. There were subcategories and all kinds of rules and lots and lots of people cooking, yelling, and speaking to the judges. One of the groups was Ritchie Valens's family. They claimed to have proof that he and Donna (high school sweetheart who inspired "Oh, Donna") got married and that she was four months pregnant when he died in the plane crash. I was arguing with my dream while dreaming it and kept saying to myself that wasn't true. Their daughter Donna (how unoriginal to name her that) spoke and read a song to the people there. During the dream I said that was Buddy Holly whose wife was pregnant the day the music died and that Ritchie was only 17, and they were barely able to see each other. See, even in fever-induced dreams, I know my pop culture trivia. Someone commented that Valens was played by an aging Jack Nicholson in the movie La Bamba, so I had to argue once again since Lou Diamond Phillips hardly qualifies. It was a very weird dream.

All the food was too much - all kinds of dishes and menus and entries. The judges announced so many winners of various categories that I almost didn't care who won even though Brian was in one of the groups who entered. I never found out how his group did.

9:26:00 AM

Saturday, November 29, 2003  
Still Flu

It's boring to be sick. I guess it's good I got this while I'm off from school since it's almost as hard to be off and plan for a substitute as it is to be there. My back is sore from coughing. My fever has gone down some though, thank goodness. This is reminiscent of when I ran that fever after chemo, only this time I can sleep since I'm not taking Prednisone.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

11:37:00 AM

Friday, November 28, 2003  

Once again the flu shot people miscalculated. I had a flu and pneuminia shot early in November, and now I have flu that's not covered by the flu shot and feel really bad. I have a temperature over 102 and sleep most of the time. It struck all of a sudden, and I slept in the recliner at Mothers all afternoon. I hope I didn't give it to anyone. I went to Dr. Ross today and waited a long time since there were only three doctors taking care of adults. $93 of meds! Yikes!

7:03:00 PM

Wednesday, November 26, 2003  
Day Off

Butch won't get to come home until tomorrow. They need to watch him longer and make sure everything is OK.

I didn't post the answers to that last trivia quiz because I thought there might be others who want to answer.

I'll be out and about today taking care of things while places are open. I've been on the low-carb diet and am feeling better. My triglycerides were very high and glucose was higher than it needs to be, so I'm trying hard here. Don't what to be diabetic or have heart disease. I told Dr. Ross I'd been celebrating overcoming cancer by eating whatever I wanted to and having lots of chocolate. He said that was fine and had its place but now I needed to take care of my heart. He has a point. What I didn't mention is that I've been doing this much longer than that, but I'm sure he could tell. :-) So when I get my insulin receptors back to normal and have lost weight and all that good stuff, I'll be able to branch out some in moderation. The main thing is that I'll be healthier and feel good again. It's been so long since I've felt really good that I've almost forgotten how it is.

10:02:00 AM

Tuesday, November 25, 2003  
A Post

OK, posting a trivia quiz isn't the same as writing an entry in my blog. I did have to choose a card from the box, think about the answers, wonder who would answer the questions. and type it, though. Oh no, not a fly-by-night type of deal here! I'm a professional quizzer. Yes, I do that for a living and much more!

Interesting article when I logged onto today about a guy at Microsoft who lost his job because of his blog. Interesting times, huh? I'm posting this at school during my planning period, by the way. :-) Your taxpayer money put to good use!

What are you Americans doing for Thanksgiving? We're going to Mother's and will enjoy that. Butch went back into the hospital yesterday because of trouble with that same area that's been bothering him around one of the stents. He should be home tomorrow and is doing well.

We're actually off tomorrow! This is great getting Wednesday off as well as Thursday and Friday! I'm so glad!

11:03:00 AM

Monday, November 24, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

Not many answers to the other quiz for some reason and very few clever, witty comments either. Better luck this time.

1. PP - What country lists 8% of its population as Maori?
2. AE - What was the first word that Helen Keller uttered in the 1962 movie The Miracle Worker?
3. HS - What mass-produced gold item did President Theodore Roosevelt commission famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to design?
4. SN - What is a stickleback?
5. SL - What year was Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto finally inducted into the Hall of Fame?
6. WC - What type of vehicle profited from the first use of Michelin tires?
7. MV - This movie featured the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head." Two outlaws and an ex-school teacher gang up. Paul Newman and Robert Redford play in this classic western. (one of my faves)

11:07:00 PM

Tuesday, November 18, 2003  

I was thinking about how I wasn't getting many comments on my blog and then realized that I'm not posting that much now. Works both ways, doesn't it?

6:10:00 PM

Trivia Quiz

I know some of these! That's always exciting.

1. PP - What were the airports at which Charles Lindbergh began and ended his first transatlantic flight?
2. AE - Who manages the convenience store in The Simpsons?
3. HS - What type of Trinidadian music has the same name as a mythological Greek nymph?
4. SN - What is the common term used to refer to light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation?
5. SL - Who did Mohammed Ali fight in the "Rumble in the Jungle"?
6. WC - What do a Blue Squid, a Crimson Tide, and a Golden Dragon have in common?
7. MV - This film is based on a novel by John O'Brien (who unfortunately committed suicide just after selling the rights to his book). This is a depressing saga of prostitution, gambling, and alcoholism. Nicholas Cage was named Best Actor for his role in the film. (Gena and I saw this together and she HATED it so much.)

6:09:00 PM

Saturday, November 15, 2003  
This 'n That

When I logged on to Blogger, I read something funny. Check it out here at Blogger. There was an article in The Onion about a 30 year old guy whose mother discovered his blog. He was in a panic about what to do, so Blogger decided to have an opinion about it and gave some suggestions. This isn't a problem for me since I began this as a public way to give information about dealing with lymphoma and sent the link out to people I know, am related to, and work with; therefore, I censor some things. I know it's been a problem for some bloggers I link to, though. I've read that some people have lost jobs because of what they wrote in their blogs and others have damanged relationships. I watch Law & Order and realize the net isn't private, and our computers have all our lives we live in cyberspace on them. It's really tempting to believe this is private since we type in the comfort of our homes and have readers we think about when we post. I'm not paranoid about someone finding out my name and email address even though many people are. Big Brother is already too involved in our lives as it is, and I do think about that. However, I will continue to write what I do and be glad you are reading it.

9:10:00 PM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

There are some interesting questions/answers on this one. Can't wait to read the comments.

1. PP - What comedienne always wore a hat with the price tag still attached?
2. AE - What does "Flubber" stand for?
3. HS - Which state has the right to divide itself into five separate states as the result of an 1845 decree of Congress?
4. SN - What garden-dweller mates only once in a lifetime but takes twelve hours to do it?
5. SL - What is the name of the sport of hunting hares on foot with hounds?
6. WC - What activity is described by "Pop Goes the Weasel"?
7. MV - Jeff Bridges stars in the 1976 version of this movie. This film porovides the debut vehicle for Jessica Lange. The conclusions of this film occurs atop the World Trade Center. (I think that's wrong and it's the Empire State Building or did they change it?)

9:18:00 PM

New Photos

New pictures on the photo album under Friends from Sunday. Some of the ones I took turned out blurry, but there are some good ones.

9:05:00 PM

Monday, November 10, 2003  

We had such a good time visiting with each other! It was so good to see Paige again and spend some time with her. Virginia is doing well and has a very positive attitude. I have a good feeling about her and know she's going to get through this with a clean bill of health. Cancer is an awful disease and the treatments are horrific. There's no way around that part. It sucks! She's going to make it though. Her husband Ken and daughter Becky are funny to be around, and I always enjoy being with all of them. Regina and I had lots of conversation on the drive there. Neither of us is at a loss for words and just talked and talked! It was the best day with wonderful company!

Virginia's house looks so good. She and her sister Rebecca learned how to decorate and arrange things from Paige. I got home and wanted to move! Too bad about the house down there, so I'll just have to make the one I'm in cleaner and organized. It's overwhelming but doable.

While comparing notes with Virginia, I realized the reason I'm not taking this high blood pressure as seriously as I would have before dealing with cancer. It's like, oh, I need to go on a diet and take some pills. No problem! I can do that.

9:49:00 AM

Saturday, November 08, 2003  

Mother is OK but wrecked her car today. She ran into a culvert, she said, and the car just fell apart on the right side. She called Butch and had lots of help from passers-by. I told her that she needs to get a cell phone to have for emergencies, and I think she will. Now she's going to also need to get a new car. If any of you know of anyone who has one to sell that's safe and has been taken care of, let us know. Thanks.

I'm going to see Virginia tomorrow in Lawrenceburg where my new house isn't. Her mother Paige will be there to stay with her during her radiation treatments. Virginia has breast cancer and has finished chemo. She's doing pretty well, but it's going to be so good to see her again, as well as Paige. I've missed her so much and think about Virginia all the time. I'm going to ride with her friend from high school Regina. I taught her and her daughter and late husband. It should be a really good day. I'm looking forward to it.

I went to see Dr. David Ross Thursday after school about my blood pressure and thyroid. I like him. My blood pressure has been high for a few months, and I've been taking something prescribed by that endocrinologist I didn't like. I'm taking a new kind along with the old ones and go back to see him Thursday. He also said for me to buy Protein Power which is a low-carb diet. I went in Friday morning for all kinds of blood work in order to have a baseline to compare with later on. So I'll be on a diet soon and will finally end the longest ever working-up-to-a-diet time period. It's been years!! Sort of like how long I've been talking about getting my house organized and clean. I'm determined to feel good again and will do what I need to.

9:20:00 PM

Thursday, November 06, 2003  

"Moon phases for the mouth of October 2003" and "cartoon igloos" are strange searches that lead people to my blog. Think maybe they meant Moon phases for the month?

9:00:00 PM

Wednesday, November 05, 2003  
Information, Please

My toolbar has gone awry. It's rearranged itself, and the icons that were on there have moved over to the right in a drop-down menu. The back button is on the right now, too. It looks plain and sort of blank. I don't know what happened to it. Any ideas? I can't get it back the way it was.

9:29:00 PM


28 school days left that I have to be with my 3rd block class from the ADHD Circle of Hell. This also means 28 school days until Christmas vacation! Then new classes when we go back!!! Yes!!

9:03:00 PM

Tuesday, November 04, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

Here it is! Another quiz for my clever friends!

1. PP - What did it take American billionaire philanthropist J. Paul Getty 25 years to get that none of his money could buy?
2. AE - What noteworthy sisters wrote also under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell?
3. HS - What acronym was the result of the translation of the Russian words abbreviated CCCP?
4. SN - What is the term for a violent tropical cyclone that originates in the West Pacific?
5. SL - Who is the highest elected official to finish a marathon while in office? (this should generate some funny answers)
6. WC - What does the VIN on an automobile stand for?
7. MV - This is a romantic comedy. The most memorable catch phrase of 1996 came from this film. A dancing/egomaniacal Rod Tidwell is a main character.

5:47:00 PM

Monday, November 03, 2003  
Comment Pandering

It would be good to have comments again. :-)

6:16:00 PM

Gnu Attitude

Here I am at school after going over part of Act III of Romeo and Juliet and some grammar. With 90-minute classes, it's necessary to have variety. I watched a rerun of Third Rock from the Sun last night in which Dick (John Lithgow) was directing Romeo and Juliet for Tommy's class. Tommy wanted to be Romeo since his girlfriend was Juliet because there were so many make-out scenes. Dick was outraged (dramatically) and asked him what he thought R&J had to do with a bunch of horny teenagers. Good one! These kids recognize that pretty well which is why I suppose it's in the 9th grade literature book.

I decided last night to be glad I'm feeling better and can work and to enjoy what I'm doing. It's good I'm here now to be able to do things. I also decided to go around my house while I clean, sort, and organize and be thankful for what I have and to let go of what I don't need anymore. That works metaphorically for other things as well. Who knows? Maybe I'll get it all together eventually. I am working on changing my attitude and how I look at things, so that's a step.

9:43:00 AM

Sunday, November 02, 2003  

Well it looks as if there weren't enough entries for the house contest. Check out this update. Guess it's not going to happen. I'm sure all of the entrants are disappointed but probably not as much as the owners of the house are. I hope they sell it and are able to move to Canada. As for me, I'll move on now to other fantasies.

1:53:00 PM


Odd how once we learn the meaning of a word, it pops up again. I'd never heard of semaphores and now this - Trouser Semaphores! Watch it in action. Pretty funny!

9:02:00 AM

Saturday, November 01, 2003  
Sad News

I've been part of an online NHL support group and kept up with the people on there but haven't read the posts much since summer. One of the women on there, Judy Weinstein, and I kept in touch for a while since she read my blog and had one herself. I have a link to her blog Finding Joy in the Midst of Cancer Treatment on here. She's had several rounds of different kinds of treatment and a difficult struggle with lymphoma. I was happy to read that she went back home and could eat real food again. There haven't been any posts since the beginning of June, so I hadn't read her blog for a while. I admired how she kept doing things she liked as much as possible and even met a man she enjoyed spending time with around a year ago. Judy was the one who copied and pasted Brian's posts when I was in the hospital for the NHL group to let them know how I was. Last night I decided to see what was going on with her and found out she died two months ago. The man she's been seeing posted it as a final chapter to her blog. This is sad news, and I mourn the loss of Judy. I went back to read posts on the group and read what her sister-in-law wrote about her. What a tribute this is .....
Dear all,

This note is the hardest I've ever had to write. My dear sister-in-law and dear friend of 36 years, Judith Weinstein, died last night. She spent the past month in and out of the hospital, and it was just so hard to watch...not the way she wanted to live.

Judy was one of the kindest, most inspirational people I've ever known. We met as kids and truly grew up together. We shared life, marriage, divorce, kids, gains, losses...and much Truth together.

My respect for Judy, how she lived...the way she loved...and for the way she also died knows no bounds. She planned the way she wanted her death to happen and it all came to pass. In the weeks before her death, she said good-bye to everyone close to her. She healed the very few last relationships that had any glitches left....and she made sure that her kids were cared for, and that every possible detail was carefully in place so as to minimize any extra challenges for those who loved her.

In the end, she was surrounded by loved ones, we held her and loved her through the transition from this lifetime, and her poor tired body, into whatever comes next. Never really experienced so much love...before.

Letting Judy go was the hardest thing I've ever done. May we all commit, again, to fighting this disease, to the discovery of a cure...and to controlling the one thing we can--the way we love each other. Judy has set the bar very, very high....

Sadly, and with gratitude for your support to both Judy and to me,

nan, aka pooh

I'm thankful for my recovery and glad to be here and am reminded once again of how serious this disease can be. It's is taking a while to get over the effects of chemo and the entire experience. I'm making progress. Thanks to all of you who have been and are here for me. You don't know how much I appreciate you. Hugs to you all!

12:26:00 AM

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