MARYJEANSL's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=MARYJEANSL MARYJEANSL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Tough times http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5766209 I posted as my status a couple of days ago that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week had been awful. Well, they definitely were, but, looking somewhat objectively at what happened those days, I can say that, to someone less affected by stress than I am, they might not have been all that bad. <BR> <BR> Here is what happened...my lovely daughter was returning to college on Thursday morning, and we had many, many things to do before she could return. The first order of business on Mond... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 18:42:19 EST The summer so far http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5753288 I haven't done much in the way of blogging lately. Things have been pretty tough in a lot of ways - from the $300 water bill, which I am pretty sure I have determined to have been caused by a problem with the sprinkler system this house has - to having to say good-by to my wonderful little dog, Cotton. She was the sweetest, best pet ever. <BR> I cried myself sick that day. But she was going to die anyway, and I just couldn't watch her suffer. <BR> <BR> There have also been some good thing... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 23:37:52 EST Wrangler Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5739763 I have been lazy about posting stuff lately. There has actually been a fair amount of stuff happening, almost none of it related to my efforts to get in better shape and lose weight, but still... <BR> <BR> On June 20th, I took Danny to one of the activities the local American Cancer Society offers for kids with cancer. This one was Wrangler Day at Rio Cibolo Ranch. RC Ranch is an entertainment ranch, which is to say that it is a real ranch, but at the same time, they are in the entertain... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 01:06:06 EST Appointment with my new GP http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5733439 I recently found a new doctor, and I must say that I am very pleased with him. I have had an oncologist and surgeon since 2007, when I was diagnosed with cancer, but I haven't had a primary-care doctor. A few years back, a friend referred me to one, but, in the end, neither she nor I was terribly happy with him. He was a pretty nice guy, and I'm sure a competent doctor, but I draw the line at a doctor who has the office staff send you a letter telling you your test results. I mean, I unde... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 23:36:19 EST Questionnaire http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5732222 I have a bunch of blogs just waiting to be written, including one about a day Danny and I spent at a really neat ranch, and also my recent visit to my GP (some good news, some not so good). But CLAIREINPARIS posted one of those 'getting to know' you sorts of questionnaires I used to do a lot of, back in the day when e-mail was new and the earth was young, and I decided to go ahead and do the questionnaire before any other blogs. I hadn't done one in years. So, here goes: <BR> <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 23:41:08 EST Back to the Trenches... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5728070 ...which, in my case, means the dreaded *lawn!* I have, unfortunately enough, a huge back yard. My front yard is small and manageable, but the back yard is another story. It can't all be mowed in one session, because the mower will manifest its displeasure by stopping and refusing to re-start. Presumably it gets too hot and wants to cool off. <BR> <BR> It mattereth not to me, because by the time the mower wants to call it quits, I have long since passed that point anyway. But the result... Sun, 29 Jun 2014 00:13:07 EST Cancer Survivor's Day at the Hospital http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5724555 Danny's hospital had a huge party last Saturday for Cancer Survivors. It was fifties themed, and there was a costume contest, dance competition, free food for the survivors, door prizes, a raffle, a health fair, etc., etc. When Danny got the invitation, I called to ask if there would be kids there, since I was afraid it would be entirely geared for adults. The lady reassured me that there would be lots of kids there, and that there were plenty of activities for kids. <BR> <BR> So, Danny, ... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 01:23:37 EST Busy Summer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5721059 I haven't felt that I had much worth posting about since Danny's treatment, with all its ups and downs, ended. But my life is still really busy. Nothing earth-shattering for sure, but busier than I had hoped this summer would be. <BR> <BR> Danny's second follow-up appointment with the specialist at M. D. Anderson in Houston has been re-scheduled. I hope the third time is the charm, since I am more than tired of making motel reservations and plans and then having to change them. The re-s... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:52:31 EST In Remission http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5717473 Danny has now fully recovered from his chemo, his subsequent neutropenic fever, and is now *done* with treatment! I think I would be happier about the whole thing if I weren't so tired. <BR> <BR> Dr. Whiteway told me to schedule another MRI for him, and another hearing test, and that would be it for now. Danny is officially in remission. He will be considered to be in remission for three to five years. If, at the end of that time, his scans still show NED (medicalese for "No Evidence of ... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:41:00 EST In which I learn the foolishness of making predictions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5709941 ...and get embarrassed in the process! <BR> <BR> So I had proclaimed to Danny's doctors and to pretty much everyone we know that Danny was going to spike a fever sometime around last Thursday or Friday, and that we would be in the hospital for five or six days. I made all kinds of preparations for this to happen, made sure I had a sub for a job I had scheduled for today, etc., etc. <BR> <BR> So, Thursday came and went, and Danny did have a little fever (99°ish), but, since the magic number... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 18:39:18 EST Graduation Story http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5706467 I never did post a blog about all the fun (ahem) involved in Henry's graduation, or, more specifically, the fun involved in getting him moved out of his apartment. I had foolishly hoped that we could have some quality family time the evening after he graduated but before his sister, brother, and I had to return home. <BR> <BR> Wrongo! Henry had done absolutely nothing to prepare for packing up and moving out of his apartment, not to mention - ahem! - cleaning it for inspection. He and hi... Fri, 30 May 2014 01:16:25 EST Last small chemo = last chemo ever! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5704822 Today was one week after Danny's last big chemo - big meaning that it entails at least one overnight hospital stay. In comparison, the chemo he got today is one that I consider almost nothing. The name of the drug is Vincristine, and he gets a tiny amount as an IV push, meaning that the nurse injects it directly - and quickly - directly into his IV line. And today was the very last time! <BR> <BR> Vincristine is an interesting drug. It is given because it makes the other chemo drugs work... Wed, 28 May 2014 00:08:50 EST Picture of Danny - finally! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703991 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/3/l637986374.jpg"> Tue, 27 May 2014 00:57:23 EST Last (Big) Chemo http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703856 Danny's last major chemo was last Tuesday, the day after we had returned from Henry's college graduation in Dallas. To say I was tired would be an understatement. So was he, and so was Cecily, who had flown from Virginia directly to Dallas so she could see her brother graduate. This did not make for a trio of happy campers! <BR> <BR> After avoiding answering three or four phone calls from the clinic, which I knew were 'where are you guys?' kind of calls, I managed to get just about every... Mon, 26 May 2014 21:31:03 EST Memorial Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703171 There is a lot going on in my life that I want to blog about, but this is Memorial Day weekend, and I think that is the priority. <BR> <BR> I have the greatest love and respect for all those who have served our country, both in war and in peace. But on Memorial Day, I especially remember my father, who fought in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. He was a jumpmaster in the D-Day invasion. This picture is of him as a young man, during WWII, 1944. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Sun, 25 May 2014 23:58:20 EST I am bursting with pride! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5699584 I have been offline for several days, not because I wanted to, but because the wifi at the motel we were staying at was, for some strange reason, incompatible with my laptop. But now I am more or less back, and I can't resist posting some pictures from my son's graduation. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/3/l331844180.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1572548506.jpg"> Tue, 20 May 2014 22:48:12 EST Tuesday's Truth http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5694458 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l129403486.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I couldn't resist posting this. So, so true. (But I want to be less fat too! <em>211</em> ) Tue, 13 May 2014 21:53:28 EST Mother's Day/MDA Update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5693838 This year, Mother's Day for me could have degenerated into a pity party, but was saved by a generous friend who invited me (and another single mother) to her house to celebrate with her and her family. I wasn't looking for presents, or even cards, which my only child at home has no way to get for me anyway, but I did hope to hear from my older two away at college. <BR> <BR> I must admit tha... Tue, 13 May 2014 01:14:26 EST Houston, we have a problem! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5690943 <BR> Well, Danny and I did NOT get to go to Houston. It seems that I need to do a better job of following the sage advice "Trust - but Verify." <BR> <BR> I got the letter scheduling the appointment for Danny at M.D. Anderson back in October. The date of the appointment was 9 May 2014. Because I trusted MDA, I assumed that he did have an appointment there on that date, and I didn't really even think about it beyond that. However, I never did get a follow-up letter or phone call, and, for... Thu, 8 May 2014 23:47:41 EST Treatment update and more frustration http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5689402 I just realized that I never did finish (not that it's such earth-shattering info) the story about Danny's last appointment in the clinic. I was super frustrated because I had said some things without thinking and it looked like we were going to be more or less forced to come back the following week (which was last week) for a pointless appointment, which would be a waste of time for us and for the doctor. <BR> <BR> However, I also felt I had not behaved as maturely as I try to behave, and ... Wed, 7 May 2014 00:39:48 EST Something serious today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5688550 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l205526874.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Needless to say, this is a cause near and dear to my heart. Danny has had brain cancer for 13 months now. We are actually very blessed that his tumor was operable, and that the type of cancer he had/has is potentially curable. Many children and families are not as fortunate. <BR> <BR> He is almost done with all his treatments...just about one more month to go. <BR> But we will never be done with fighting for al... Tue, 6 May 2014 00:18:32 EST Friday's Friends, Romans, Salad-Eaters http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5686157 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/1/l3122532.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Et tu, Brute? Sat, 3 May 2014 00:39:54 EST Saturday's Spill Avoidance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5680538 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1317709094.jpg"> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:19:29 EST Frustrations...in spades http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5678342 I am finding myself more and more frustrated with Danny's treatments and appointments as more time goes on. We are getting closer and closer to the end of active treatment, and I honestly am feeling like, once he is done, I don't ever want to go back there again, as in, let's skip all the follow-up appointments. <BR> <BR> I quite realize that this is a silly attitude to take, but I am just tired of all the nonsense, and how I am treated. I try not to show it, but I am fairly sure that I ... Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:17:34 EST Monday's Motivation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5677500 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1439134368.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yes, I admit it. I am a procrastinator! Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:49:56 EST Friday's Phone Avoidance Technique http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5675400 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/5/l556314570.jpg"> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:11:01 EST Wednesday's What I Tell My Kids http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5673785 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/0/l302117590.jpg"> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:27:39 EST Tuesday's Tiredness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5673138 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1497166494.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> I'll tell you what - it reeeeeeally takes it out of me, all this pretending! <BR> Like today - Danny decided he is really a three-year old disguised as a <BR> teenager and got a lot of fun out of attempting to bite the nurses, doctor, <BR> and anyone else he got near, including me. <BR> <BR> I had to pretend I was angry and shocked instead of joining in the fun. <BR> It was awful! And I just collapsed whe... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:16:21 EST Saturday's Self-Deception http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5670721 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1628926615.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Which goes right along with Monday's Moment from March 31st. Memory? <BR> What's that? Sat, 12 Apr 2014 21:05:51 EST Saturday's Satisfaction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5665408 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1308486054.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yes, I am one of those who does do this. ;-) Sun, 6 Apr 2014 00:54:54 EST Monday's Moment... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5661308 ...which happens altogether too often for some of us.... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/2/l422471888.jpg"> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:36:12 EST Saturday's Soft Drink Names http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5659677 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1379184547.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I'm an outlier on this one, because I have always called them, <BR> "soft drinks," only because that is what my mom and dad called <BR> them. So if I'm weird, it's definitely my parents' fault. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 23:51:23 EST Thursday's Thought You Said http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5658105 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/0/l409937233.jpg"> <BR> <BR> And who can blame me? Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:41:50 EST Sickness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5657457 So Danny hardly missed a beat with his pneumonia, and is running around, as active as ever. And his blood counts are fantastic, no less. Meanwhile, he gave me something nasty - don't know if it's pneumonia, but I do know I was seriously sick last night - fever over 101, chills, sweats, cough, general misery. Not a good thing! Thu, 27 Mar 2014 00:59:13 EST Monday Morning's Mug http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5655819 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1049732403.jpg"> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 00:22:23 EST Sunday's Sin http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5654916 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2088331394.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Which definitely gave me Sunday's laugh for the day! Sun, 23 Mar 2014 22:03:28 EST Pneumonia http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5652877 I really wanted to post a positive, funny blog for the first day of Spring, so I decided to delay posting the depressing, unfunny blog about how Danny is in the hospital with pneumonia. It isn't as dire as it probably sounds, though it certainly isn't anything I am happy about. So, here goes with the depressing stuff.... <BR> <BR> A week ago, Danny went in for his regular blood counts, and they were very good (f0r a chemo patient, that is). His hemoglobin was 9.3, up from 9.0 the previous... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 02:50:00 EST Thursday's Thankfulness... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5652822 ...for the arrival of Spring and its harbinger...the very first robin! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/9/l594715976.jpg"> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:50:49 EST Tuesday's Top Five http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5651161 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/8/l982012726.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I especially excel at #2...wonder how many calories that burns? Tue, 18 Mar 2014 22:55:05 EST Monday's Misery http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5650245 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1057794098.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:47:46 EST Sunday's Snowflakes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5649545 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1777476880.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Don't we all have at least a few flakes in our families? Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:24:15 EST Friday's Fatigue http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5648052 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l157411805.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This one really hit home today. I had to work this morning...and I think it was about 1:30 A.M. when I got to bed last night. Ouch! Fri, 14 Mar 2014 22:51:43 EST Monday's Mom Meme #2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5644974 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/5/l853127100.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Mother's have eyes in the back of their heads. They know all, see all, hear all, and are on top of all. Aaaaaand, their children had just better not put any of it to the test! Tue, 11 Mar 2014 00:35:31 EST Tuesday's Tumor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5639145 I hope this doesn't gross anyone out. This is a picture of the tumor that almost killed my son. Not funny this time, but something I want to look at once in awhile and remember. It has been just a little more than a year since he first started to get sick. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/6/l264172248.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Tue, 4 Mar 2014 01:51:14 EST Saturday's Support Group http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5637302 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/7/l370009683.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This just might solve all my housekeeping problems! Sat, 1 Mar 2014 23:34:27 EST Danny Update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5632053 I didn't realize how long it had been since I had updated, since mentioning that he had a birthday hardly counts as an update. The news is good! <BR> <BR> He had a magnetic resonance spectroscopy scan...I am not exactly sure how that differs from a regular MRI, although in his case it definitely took less time. That was last Wednesday. Then on Thursday he had a PET/CT scan of his brain, which took a very, very long time. That was because the PET scan uses radiolabelled glucose, and the b... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 23:57:00 EST Saturday's Spouse Mode http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5631128 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/2/l229812313.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Sat, 22 Feb 2014 20:25:20 EST Wednesday's What's for Dinner http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5628448 <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1375645603.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Clearly, a new recipe book is needed - think of the money to be made here! Wed, 19 Feb 2014 15:01:47 EST Tuesday's Treble, Nothing but Treble http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5627761 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1413047842.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Tra la! Tue, 18 Feb 2014 22:00:08 EST Happy Birthday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5625710 to Danny, who turned thirteen today. I have a teenager again, after nearly six months without one, since his sister turned twenty last August. It's kind of a bittersweet occasion. <BR> <BR> A year ago, even as he turned twelve, he was starting to show the first signs of the brain tumor whose existence turned 2013 into the worst year of both his and my life. I hope and believe that this coming year will be a much better one, but there is always fear behind the hope for and anticipation o... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 17:06:31 EST