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Tuesday, December 1st 2009

5:49 AM

December

Hi Everybody!

Today is the first day of December. Can you believe it? The time has gone so fast. We all did survive Thansksgiving. I cooked for about 15 people. All went well except for one small thing. I made my noodles and promptly scorched them just before they were ready to serve. I did so well. I made them myself, had plenty of them, they looked good, were thick and tasty AND THEN right before my eyes they SCORCHED. IMMEDIATELY if not sooner, my loving children were ON ME HARD! There is no leway when making traditional dinners. Scorched noodles is not OK at any level. I felt so bad, I made another batch of noodles on Friday for when we returned from getting our Christmas trees. So, I did get a fresh tree. I have not decorated it yet. The plans are for tonight. Lucy did not get to go with us. We had Rachels kids with us and there were too many kids and not enough adults to handle a dog, too. We had five grandkids stay all night Thanksgiving and all five went to get the tree. This Friday we are taking four grandkids to see Snow White here in Shelbyville and two will stay all night. (I'm sick of kids!) I almost have my Christmas shopping done. The advantage of shopping on line. I have not been out to the shopping centers at all. I assume they are all decorated for Christmas. I had a little bit of difficulty with UPS, but once that was fixed, I have had no problems getting my items delivered. Lucy finished her first grade of doggy school. As I predicted, she did not perform the validictorian speech. She is still somewhat intiimidated by Rocky and Nutmeg is still the smart girl of the class. She has learned the word "off" and what it means. She does not like to "stay" and she will "sit "everytime. We need lots of work with "leave it". She's sleeping by my feet right now. The only other things for us in Dec are a dinner for David, the Transiberian Orchestra, and family gatherings. I did get to go to Mark's game Saturday night. It was my first time of seeing him coach. He and his team won. They played New Pal. I can hardly get over how big my kids are now. My youngest is a JV Head Coach for a reputable basketballl program.

This entry is to primarily let everyone know I am closing the blog this year. The last date to enter remarks will be Dec 31, 2009. I am doing very well and now the only thing for me to do is to continue as is for five years. Once I reach five years with no relapse, I will be considered cured of leukemia. I do not have any leukemia now and have been in remission for almost 2 years. My counts are low, but are good for me. I am tolerating my transplant well. The graft-host problems I have are with my gut. We keep working on that and I keep improving. I am gaining weight --- too much weigth. In fact, in Jan. David and I are going back to following my Weiight Watcher meal planning. He will have his surgery Dec 11 and should do well. I also want to share that I have decided to retire from Lilly this year. I had thought I would return to work around March or April. With the job situation at Lilly now, we decided it would be better for me to retire. My retirement date will be Dec 31. I will have 80 points. I am hoping to pursue a teaching job when I get released to work. I have some contacts and possibilities. Most importantly for me is to be sure I can work. I do not want to jeopardize my social security benefit and then find out I can't work. I honestly think in a few months or year, I will be ready to work full speed again.

When you got on the blog today, you may have seen a new picture.  This is a picture my family and me took on Thanksgiving. We want to say thank you for all of the great support you provided me during my illness and recovery. You each made such a difference for me. I loved the comments and the opportunity to talk, even if it was through written word and not actually TALKING!. God is good. I am truly a testimony of God's word. God is the Hope for all of us. Take care and write when you can. I am leaving my personal email. I invite anyone who wants to stay in contact, to use the email and I will look forward to hearing from you.  kmfn73@wildblue.net

Love to you all ---

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Friday, November 20th 2009

6:15 PM

Thanksgiving

Hello Everyone!

Yep it is Thanksgiving already. It seems like not so long ago, I was watching Food Network doing Thanksgiving preparations and they are back at it again this year. Everybody but the Italians are having Turkey.... oven roasted, grilled, barbequed, deep fried, herbed up, chunked up and any other way you might think. Now for dressing - cranberry, oyster, cornbread, regualar bread, other dried fruits, other types of bread, hot spices, pepper spices and gasoline! I just wondered if you were paying attention. For me, I will be having turky, drsg, noodles, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry salad, corn pudding and fresh vegs. Notice I do not prepare a green vegetable. Food Network assures me I do not have enough color in my meal. And of course don't forget the rolls and pies. Pumpkin of course and this  year there will be no butterscothch pie (Emily and I ate one whole pie last week). We will add cherry, peach, and/or apple crisp. My kids will come early, Emily has to work. David's kids are coming later because they have other obligations. Rachel is home from Florida and Debbie is off work and is able to come to Shelbyville. These out of towner kids will be also getting their Christmas presents. Then the big day for me, (like Thanksgiving wouldn't kill someone) is Friday. I get to get my live Christmas tree. We go and cut it down. Sometimes I see my friend Julie Glover from Community Hospital there getting her tree too. Her husband, Alan works at Lilly. We will introduce wonder dog, Lucy to tree hunting this year. Sadie of course was in the past included in this family tradition. Maybe I should carry her ashes on my back for respect.  Lucy would be soooo mad. She has no room to be mad. She has been quite unruly lately. Yesterday, she was kind enough to bring almost a shovel load of horse maneur into my kitchen. I bet you are wondering how that happened. Rid your mind of her pushing a shovel load of maneur through the house with me just standing by encouraging her on. I honestly can not tell you how it happened. My theory is that I was deeply engaged in a most important phone call, not to be disturbed, and while I was thoroughly involved in fixing world problems, she drug in a partial frozen "mat" of shoveled maneur through the living room into the kitchen. And when I found it, it had thawed. If that wasn't enough from her, think on how she dumped a bowl of tomato soup, ate 12 cupcakes (paper and all), bisquits, diet pepsi, bag of potato chips, one slipper, a rug, rotor cord, paint brushes and other such necessary items for survial in our home. And did I tell you she is doing very well in school. She is terrified of Rocky, the cocker spaniel less than 1/4 her size. She looks up to Nutmeg, the brilliant brown lab. She does her tricks for treats only. I am not sure who is training who. She also has not learned how to climb the stairs at home; that being a blessing. Enough on wonder dog.

We are taking Belle and Abi to see Snow White the first week in Dec and they will have a sleep over at our house. This has all the makings of being tiring. I am watching Eliza that morning. Jacob elected to not participate in this activity. David is having his surgery the next week. He is trying to elect out of this activity. The vote is in.... no electing out. He goes under the knife and I start thim on the protein shakes. Boy, I can hardly wait!

I just learned today that Shelbyville has a Christmas parade. They have had this parade for over 20 years. We got caught in it tonight. It had floats, lights, music, tons of kids, bands, flag teams, baton twirlers. pom pom girls, clowns and whatever else is in parades, ending with Santa. Now how could I live in Shelbyville since 1993 and not known of the Christmas parade which is always held the weekend before Thanksgiving bringing Santa to town. I thought of claiming chemo brain, but not sure that will hold up in court.

Guess I better get going. I don't have any funny stories to tell. One last thing. Someone advised to me to read the book A Separate Piece by John Knoweles. I was warned it is a downer sort of book, but still a good read. If anyone has read it, let me know your thoughts. I'm careful what I expose my brain to........

One more thing. I got my Bible back from having it rebound. It looks really good. It needed a cover and the spine sewn. I used Leonards. It is a place in northern Indiana. Good service, good job, moderate pricing. FYI

Take Care

Kathy

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Thursday, November 5th 2009

4:53 PM

Mine and Lucy's Update

Hi All,

I finally got my H1N1 vaccine today. That was an ordeal. Now I should be flu free for both kinds. Now for Lucy... she had her mommy parts out. She is starting doggy school Tuesday night. She needs it! She ate sauerkraut and sausage off the cabinet in the kitchen..... all of it!  Guess who had diarrhea afterwards.  We are using the clicker method for training. I practiced with her a little while. She does OK, but she is bullheaded and strong.  Wish me luck.

Go  Yankees! Did anyone stay up? I went to bed when the score was 5-1.

Got to go for now.....OReilly is on.

Kathy

 

 

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Wednesday, October 28th 2009

4:32 PM

Hello

Hi All,

I don't have any health issues to report. I have had some nausea since I completed the prednisone, but nothing to report. Still eating and gaining weight. I had to go back on some meds. I just wasn't doing well enough without them. The good thing this week for me occurred today. I visited my aunt who underwent a double lung transplant about two months ago. She is home doing very well. She had a bit of a rough start in her recovery, but is smokin' now. She and I traded war stories today. Much of what she is doing is the same thing I did. Her physical therapist was there today and they were walking up and down stairs. Boy, I remember that! She looks so good and is making such great progress. Transplants sure knock the socks off of you, but the life you get after you survive the transplant is worth it all.

Lucy is scheduled to have her mommy parts taken out again on Monday. Hopefully, her platelets will be on the rise.

The renewal for this blog site is coming due in Dec. I am thinking of ending this blog then. I am really hoping to be back to work early next year. I was thinking those who want to keep in contact with me could be done through email and of course phone. My health situation is in the recovery phase and will be long and drawn out. I will be under my physician care for five years. I am hoping there will not be any significant set backs. I am not ever going to be able to express to you how much you have each contributed to helping me recover. This blog has been fun for me and I hope you all have enjoyed it. Each time I get a reply, it makes my day. I look forward to hearing from you. I feel like I am keeping contact with the world. It is hard to be sick and out of sorts for two years. What a difference you made for me. Thank you so much!

I'll let you know about Lucy.

Kathy

 

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Monday, October 19th 2009

1:01 PM

Lucy!

Lucy went this morning to have her "mommy parts" removed. They called me and said they were not doing her surgery today. Guess Why?   LOW PLATELETS!!!  Are you kidding me?! Tell me I am not watching platelet counts in a DOG now. 

Dr. Shelton does not think there is anything serious. It may be cyclic in nature and I have rescheduled her in two weeks. I just thought you all might get a kick out of hearing LOW PLATELETS has raised its ugly head again.

For now,

Kathy

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Sunday, October 18th 2009

4:36 PM

Light the Night is Over!

Hi Everyone!

Light the Night was Saturday night. It was cold! Thank you to all who walked and contributed to the cause of leukemia. The crowd this year was less than last year, probably due to the cold. We raised around $1000.00. That is about what we raised last year. It is an opportunity for me to be involved with this fund raiser and I appreciate all that you did to help me. I was able to attend and finsh the distance. I had on two hats, long underwear, shirt, vest, coat, more long underwear, flannel lined pants, heavy socks, and gloves. I stayed pretty warm. It wasn't too bad. Others were cold, I think. The hot dogs were available again, but did not see but a few people eating them. One person described them as "those steamed kind". They also had ribbon pins, like the Breast Cancer pink pins. These pins were a lime green color with twinkling lights on it. It was pretty cute. I got a t-shirt and my picture on the monitor that runs during the program. It was the picture of me and Lucy that is on my blog. I missed it, but heard others saw it. I thought about bringing Lucy to walk with me. Our family, at the last minute, decided to eat before the walk. Lucy got denied! Other folks brought their canine companions. Some were dressed up in hiking gear. Go figure.  Our family will probably organize a team again next year. If you enjoyed this year or think you might like to join us next year, just be watching for me to send a note. They start us talking about in in July or so. Thanks again for helping me. My family also thanks you.

Friday I had a doctor apt. The best news I got was that I can have a live Christmas tree this year. David calls them murdered trees. He doesnt agree with the traditional cutting of your own trees for the purpose of pictures. Other information: Labs were low, but OK for me. I finished my Prednisone and we will have to wait and see what happens with that. I am able to stop the Lexapro now. Have to stay on Prograf. Checking me for a bladder infection. Those are always fun as most of you know. Weight gain again 124lbs. I would like to stop gaining weight now, but I think those bagels and peanut butter sandwiches I eat now are going to pose a barrier iwith that goal. I also this week enjoyed probably 1/2 or more of a peach pie! Porkie Porkie Porkie. I thought I was going to get my flu shots on Friday, but get a hold of this..... the university did NOT have any vaccine. I did present the question of how is it that the university where everyone within is at HIGH risk not have any vaccine. They seemed to be asking the same question. Dr. Nelson did agree it appeared odd. So, now, I need to seek another avenue to get these shots. He did share with me he was going to see Dylan in Chicago on Halloween. How appropriate. Have you all seen Dylan lately?  SCAAARRRYYYY!  Since he told me he was going to see Dylan, I asked him if he was going to purchase his Christmas carol CD. He thought he might. I determined at that very minute Dr Nelson is in need of an emergency audiogram. Maybe I should send him to DANVILLE! (Previous reference)

Got to go, I'm smelling peanut butter! Write when you can.

Kathy

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Sunday, October 11th 2009

5:27 PM

Light the Night Update

Light the Night is Saturday night. The date is October 17th. The walk begins at 7:00 pm. There are other things going on prior to the walk you can enjoy. The gates open at 5:30 pm. It is at Victory Field located at 501 W. Maryland St in Indianapolis. Parking is available in various places. One close garage is on the corner of Maryland and West St. The cost is $5. Parking ranges from $3 to $5.  We will meet on Level 2 Section 207. It is about where we met last year,  You will be able to see what goes on at the stage located on the field.  If you have not enrolled yet, there is plenty of time. You can enroll off my blog site. Go back to the home page and click on Light the Night and follow the instructions. I hope to see as many folks as can come. It is a nice walk in the evening time. I do not know what the weather is expected to be, but will watch. I appreciate all the effort and donations you all have provided. It will go to good use. I plan to be there around 6:00 pm. Understand I am at the mercy of David and his timing frequently is not the same as me.

Last Monday, I got a call from Dr. Nelson's nurse, Pam. She informs me I have Osteoporosis and am needed to see an endocrinologist immediately! My thoughts.... what is so urgent about potential broken bones?!! I said Are you sure? I shouldn't have Osteoporosis, I don't feel like my bones are weak and without structure. Real funny she says. That was all the good news. I learned shortly afterward, I needed to see a "special" endocrinologist. Ok, I say. His office is in DANVILLE!  WHAAATTTT? I said with as much restraint as possible. Is there a shortage of Endocrinologists between SHELBVILLE (where I LIVE) and Danville? Apparently no shortage exists, however this Dr. Edmondson is Dr. Nelson's pick of the breed. My apt. was scheduled for this past Friday. I was lucky because I had to be at Lori's who does live in Indy in the morning. I was leaving from Lori's house. Now, the address was Danville, IN. I did very well using my compass in the car going directly west. That is good for the directionally challenged. I stayed on US 36 and of course needed to look for an OLD US 36. I kept driving and driving and driving and driving - west all the way singing Westward Ho. I got near to the other side of Avon thinking if the address said Danville, Avon was probably too far. I turned around and drove East for several miles and stopped for direction clarification. Apparently on the west side of town if the address says Danville, it probably means some distance on the OTHERside of Avon. So, Westward Ho was back on the top 10 Dick Clark list for me. I did call the office and we had an extrodanaire conversation discussing landmarks until I got there. And by the way, did I mention it was raining? Don't be concerned, it was not raining cats and dogs, only buckets! I did receive royal treatment. I was the only one in the office. And my written result of Osteoporosis - High Risk for Fracture and a bunch of numbers I didn't know what they meant changed to Osteopenia and no treatment necessary for now and no follow up apts. were made.

Life is good!  Write when you can and remember Light the Night!  I have to check the Colts score. Lori and Brent went to TN for the game.

Kathy

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Friday, October 2nd 2009

7:45 AM

It's Friday!

Hi Everybody,

I do not have any medical updates. I am doing OK. I will be decreasing my Prednisone level next week. I do not have a doctor apt. for a couple of weeks. I will be getting flu shots at that time. Still am sticking pretty close to home. I have had a few nausea episodes again, but this is getting better again.

Lucy seems to be settling down a little.  At least my arms are not meatloaf anymore. I do have some residual proof of puppy fun. We spend a good amount of time outside. I have a path around our property to walk with her. She is good exercise for me. The weather has been pretty good for being outside. I've been watching Purdue forfeit football games. I am hoping they decide they want to win pretty soon. On Sat. I wear Purdue earrings, necklace, shirt and socks. You would think that would help a little bit. And on Sunday, I wear Colt sweatshirts and Colt socks. That seems to be working OK.

I appreciate being remembered regarding Pris's news. Pris is someone all the Lilly folks know. Her husband unexpectedly passed away while on a business trip. I was so taken back with this sad news. My heart actually aches for her. I read in the Lafayette paper there will be no public services. If anyone hears something different, please let me know.

Well, the big news on Fox today is the David Letterman blackmail. He is being blackmailed for having sex with some of the women on his staff. Do any of you care what David Letterman does? They are going to have a press conference in a little bit.  I can let you all know if Chicago will get the Olympics, that will be announced in an hour. I feel like I am the town crier sending messages running through the towns.

My friend Barb is retiring this year and I am really excited for her. She works at Lilly, too. She is having a party this weekend. I am hoping to get to attend for a short while. We have been friends for about 15 years or so.

David, kids, and grandkids are all doing well. David is dealing with the Board of Health Survey at his job this past week. It should end today. He will be scheduled to have surgery very soon. He has Barret's Disease and will have, probably, a full Nissen procedure. He will not like the recovery. I am looking forward to telling him how good those protein shakes are... they come in many flavors..... we can make them taste like shakes..... we can heat them up to taste like hot chocolate..... and all sorts of lies and distortions that were told to me! You all know he is a better care provider than I am. Remember the old "total hip" days. I think he remembers and is really scared of me!  Ha. He should do well.

I better get going. I will send a note telling where we should all meet for Light the Night. I have to look at the map, but am hoping to find the same location we had last year. Light the Night is Oct 17 and there is still plenty of time to sign up and join us walking.

Write when you can,

Kathy

 

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Monday, September 14th 2009

7:39 AM

Quick Update

Hi All

My bone marrow biopsy results came back. The results were "no leukemia cells" and 2% blast cells. The goal for blast cells is less than 5%. This is a good report. This will be my last biopsy unless my labs significantly change to indicate a need. I think we can consider this an official test to say I have survived leukemia for over one year and my transplant has been successful for one year. We are looking for a 5 year survival. The next hurdle is to get me off the immunosuppresants and prednisone so I can get my immunizations and of course the fatigue. Doing well. Thank you all for your help and support. I could not do this without such great support.

Weekend notes

Sarina Williams is no John McEnroe. ... The Colts need to see what they can do about the shadowing on the field for those of us who watch on T.V. ... Yes we want Harrison back!... They put Purdue on at 10:00 for a reason.... A local radio station had to recount their messagae of Lilly reducing staff by 35,000 to 5500, whewwwww.

Have a good day and don't forget about Light the Night! Details are in previous messages.

Kathy  

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Friday, September 4th 2009

4:12 PM

Friday was Doctor Day

Hi Everybody -

Don't forget about Light the Night; details are in the previous message. Today's message is about my doctor appointment. I had a bone marrow biopsy today. Results will be back in a couple weeks. I do not expect any surprises. I gained another pound 121# now. Medicines stay the same. There is no need to alter the prednisone. I had felt really good for about 5 weeks. Last week, I started getting nauseated, fatigued etc and I attribute that to the Prednisone reduction. We are going to watch for a week or so. I don't feel bad, I just don't feel as good as I did. I have to have a dexascan and am to begin vitamins and Vit D supplement. Great! More Pills! Next apt. is in 6 weeks. I also need to get both influenza immunizations when they come out. Still on Prograf and so can not get my childhood immunizations.  My recovery has hit a place of boredom for story telling.

Lucy is 30lbs now. She is learning to poddy outside for a treat and does this very well. She also does not mind poddying in the house. She comes to get a treat for that as well. She hasn't learned yet how to tell us she has to go out. This still remains our responsibility. I have started calling her a slacker@!

I got my car back. I have driven it to my Pilate class. I had been taking water aerobics for strength and I was told the water will be cold in the fall and winter. I opted out and got talked into pilates two times a week for 45 min. each. My pilates is all floor work. I can do all the poses, but I can not begin to do the number of repetitions. My stomach muscles are sore. My legs do pretty well, my hips and rear end do pretty well. My stomach - all together a different story! Dr. Nelson thinks this is OK to gain strength. He keeps tellling me I am doing well and then reminds me my immunity is not ready to be turned loose. It thinks it lives in my body, but is not always sure and we should not be tricking it. Now we have personalized or humanized my immunity system. Maybe I should rename it Irene or something. So, when I say Irene is not ready to be on her own, you'll know my immunity still needs support. I have finally reached a point where I think Irene and I can work together, but I know she will always show her ugly head under stress she perceives.

I'm watching Fox, getting ready for OReilly. Healthcare and the Obama school speech. I might need to stop and read on my book. I am now reading an Evonovich book a friend sent me. Pretty cute story.

My aunt with the double lung transplant is doing fairly well. She coded on her second day. She, today, had to go for a trach and all was successful. She is awake and knows family. She is not happy with the trach. I had a talk with her( she can't talk, she had to listen while I talked) and told her my perspective on things and it was her responsiblity to take all her energy to do what the doctors say, not use her energy having an opinion. I know she thought it was the pot calling the kettle black, but remember she can't talk back!

I had a unique opportunity last week where I was able to visit with several Lilly people whom I have not seen in over 2 or 3 years. Many of these people told me they had been reading my blog and offered me very kind remarks toward my recovery. It was such a true blessing to be able to thank these folks for praying so diligently for me all this time. It was a good time. It felt to me God was reassuring me He was in control and I am getting better and I am hopeful for recovery.

Take Care and remember September is "apple" month. Be sure to don your applewear this month. I wore apple pins on my shirt  to the doctor today. And all you coffee drinkers, try and get an apple coffee mug.

Kathy

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