Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Wow, two posts in two days. See I do write when I'm stressed. Actually I was looking for the date that Jim quit his job last year and thought it might be in my blog, but no luck. So what I thought I'd comment on was my two new years resolutions for 2007 and see how I did.

1- Be healthier at the end of 2007 than I am in the beginning. Steps to include limiting worry, losing weight (at least 20 pounds this year), exercising 3-5 times weekly, limiting alcohol and sweets, and eating healthy foods, like fruits and veggies 3-5 day and 3 servings of dairy a day.

Well, I am healthier. The cancer is gone ( I hope) and I am feeling stronger by the day. I didn't realize how much chemo and radiation took out of me. So this goal of losing 20 pounds needs to be uped to 40 and put back on the list for 2008.

and 2-Write more! I have set up a writers notebook with a calendar and writing opportunities listed on each month. I have joined the Open Doors newsletter staff at work and had one article published. I think this will teach me more about real journalism processes. I have drafted a children's mystery story for the Highlights contest due this month. And I will pick one novel I've started to finish this year.

I had forgotten the reason I set up the notebook. I used it so much for doctor appointments and keeping myself on track with medications. But I had three Open Doors articles published and was asked to be co-editor for 2008.

I had one essay published in Grit. And I have one in the final consideration stage for a Chicken Soup book.

I mentioned I sent three chapters of a middle school book to Highlights for their scholorship contest and maybe I'll get the mystery story written for next month.

Finishing a novel, nope. But I have four good chapters and a theme/plot for my romance. Hunt Road is still just sitting there. And of course I started a new one based in Cambia which I actually wrote in yesterday.

The other project I will finish within the next three months (see a deadline, I can set them, I just have problems with the execution), is a story for True Confessions.

This one is still in my brain but not on paper or sent off. Funny I've been thinking about doing this for years. Just can't get it on paper.

Anyway, those are my focus goals. Of course, I set getting my budget under control (not totally in my court), increasing my pay at work and getting a promotion?
I have a pretty good budgeting system going. This month is a little off due to Christmas. Jim's on layoff so until he gets his first unemployment check I'll be a little freaky. I got a lot of tests completed (have three left), took the truck course and now am working on Senior. So I jumped my pay 5k in a year and a half.
So I think even with the breast cancer, I did pretty good on my focus goals for 2007. Now to reevaluate 2008. I know I want to write more and submit what I write. I made under $200 for writing in 2007, this year I want to make it four figures.
I want to get back in my health in 2008. Lose weight, start exercising, build muscle back.
As far as work, I want to make senior in the first quarter and have a promotion by the end of the year.
But I will be adding to those focus goals as I rethink them in the next week.
What are you doing for the next year?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Well two days of my Christmas Holiday are gone already. Today seems to be packed with to do's as well. Jim's still not finished with his shopping. I have to make a salad for tomorrow. No desserts as everyone is on a diet. Maybe I'll make some cookies to send off to Alex.

I'm not writing. I'm dreaming a lot but not writing. It's like I sit down and all the ideas that I've had over the week just fall out of my head only to return while I'm driving the hour into work. I'm thinking about trying the switch to 4 10's. It would save me almost $50 a month in gas and a full day in driving a month. I wonder if I would be less tired and more available to write on Friday's.

JIm is on lay off until the first week of March. This should be interesting.

We have two upcoming dart weekends one in January in Sullivan MO and one in Springfield IL in February. Both should be fun and we should be able to win at least enough money to pay for the weekends. I'm hoping.

Friday night darts is really fun as I get to play with Jim every game. He's working with me on some of my strategy issues and I think it's helping, especially with my 01 game. We will play mixed cricket in February so we'll see what I've learned.

Merry Christmas to all.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Update from the cold

So, I sent off my Thanksgiving essay to an online contest. Didn't win. But I have one more essay done for possible submission later. I finished three chapters of my children's novel, Hannah Rides the Pony Express and sent it off with a scholarship application for the Highlights Convention next summer. Then I let someone from work read it. I was nervous about the comments but they were good. And then she said something else.

"I know you know how she travels in time and it was very effective when I read it, and I don't want you to tell me, but it got me thinking how is she going to get back."

Now as much as I loved the comment about Hannah's move to the 1860's was effective and believable, it got me worried since I don't have this whole story in my head and frankly I'm not quite sure how she gets back. But this friend thought I did. Am I starting writing too soon before I plot out the story? Do I let my characters tell their own story too frequently? All I know is after we talked, I was excited to get back to Hannah in Martha's cabin and finish the story so I can find out how she finally gets back to her families vacation to Utah.

So it's the first week of December and I have a four day weekend at Christmas. Yea! We have darts this weekend and then I think we are done with darts except league until the first of the year when the traveling season starts. And it doesn't end until May!

So if I'm going to write at all today, I better get going.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Ok, I'm very sad about Thanksgiving, we ate out, at a buffet, a really bad buffet and I got no turkey or ham. But in the middle of this sadness, I realized how lucky I was. Because I wasn't the elderly man sitting by himself eating his very bad Thanksgiving buffet by himself. All dressed up but no one to share his meal with. If it had been just Jim and I, we would have taken this loney man under our wing and invited him to our table. Jim's folks would have had a fit if we had invited him to the table with the 7 of us. So even during the 3rd worst Thanksgiving dinner of my life, I had something to be thankful for.

I am a relationship junkie. Having that special someone sitting next to you, being able to laugh that the coffee was the best part of the meal, and then sitting together on the couch watching television, that's my idea of heaven. And that being said, maybe my Thanksgiving wasn't as bad as I had thought.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fall colors

Well the temperature finally dropped and the trees are changing their colors and losing leaves quickly. We went from 60-70 degree days to 40-50 and frosting nights. But it's nice to have three seasons at least, I don't really know about their winters here yet.

My training for work went fine. It was fun working with the projector and the wireless mouse for the powerpoint. I had a lazer pointer available, but during practice I was shaking so much I didn't think it was a good idea. And I was chosen for the Diversity Team which will get me a whole bunch of writing and newsletter experience. So that's where my year looks like it's going. I'm probably not applying for Senior in January, Jason doesn't think I'm ready unless I do a few more projects to get me in the "leadership" mode. And the examiners thought they were being pushed at IDHW.

Writing has been slow, but I signed up for NANO so I'm hiding from that. I am trying to work out a deal to do job descriptions for a recruiting company but that's a while away it looks. I have started a story about Hannah and the Pony Express, but I get a great start at things and then just peter away. Hum, what does that tell me about myself. Scared of success? Probably.

Darts are coming back. My cricket game is getting better and better and I'm doing quite a few tons lately. Haven't had a busting night for a few weeks, knock on wood.

Now I just need to relax and start working out again. Eat healthy and work out 4-5 times a week. That should drop some of this weight soon.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fall Cleaning

Well, my birthday has come and gone with little trepidation this year. Have to say I'm glad I'm 47, the alternative didn't look so good. I've had a few issues to deal with this year but I'm healing up from the radiation and starting to feel stronger from the chemo, but now I have to go have three teeth pulled. I'm suppose to have four but my insurance only covers a $1000 a year and I think financially, I'll keep that one wisdom tooth until it decides to give me trouble or at least until my insurance year changes. I got the hospital bill part for the radiation last week. $42k. Thank God for insurance. I can't even imaging the emotional toll this would take on me without it. I'm still struggling financially due to the co payments and such but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what it could be and I'm seeing a light a the end of the tunnel.

Work is fine as usual. Nothing big going on. Well, I guess that's wrong. I'm doing a training for the whole NVA group on 11-1 on the 15 cent certification tests. With this training under my belt, I'll be able to apply for senior in January and then I'll be at the top except for supervisor for my team. So then on to other challenges.

Writing. I rewrote or retyped the first four chapters of my romance novel that is tenatively called Paris or Bust. Its the story of Sandra who's recently divorced, had been seeing a married man (Tom) and meets Chance through a singles ad she posts. Their trials start when her work (and Tom works with her) starts to drive a wedge between them and she is faced with the choice of moving up in her company or a more laid back life with Chance. Or is it that simple? Do women have to choose between the men in their lives or a truely successful career. Or is a successful life focused on a career that you work to live rather than live to work? We'll see what Sandra decides.

I've started a murder mystery based in Cambria, Ca. It's the story of an amature PI who finds her friend dead of apparently natural causes. After all Miss Emily is pushing 80. But Jill thinks things are looking a little fishy and goes off to discover that the small town mayor and his council are doing more for Cambria's future than just keeping the small town a tourist trap. And while she's looking, she finds plenty of other possible suspects in Miss Emily's past, a past she kept hidden for more than 30 years. Jill is trying to finalize Miss Emily's will, keep her own business going, and deal with the mysterious nephew who has popped into the picture, looking for his piece of the pie.

So between that and trying to figure out a budget to get all these bills paid, that's my life. What's going on with you?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Busy busy busy

Ok, that's a lie. How about tired, tired, tired? I have one more radiation treatment and my skin has broken so now I am tired and hurt. But this too shall end and after next week, it's all healing from here.

Oh, and getting teeth pulled next month. Boo Hiss, but maybe I'll start feeling better in November.

No writing going on but one of my essays is under consideration for a chicken soup book. I'm pretty excited. I've had the same writing goals all month with no progress. But as a good excuse, I am tired and on lot of pain meds. Maybe next month will be better.

Jim's been out of town and I went to visit him last weekend. It was a blast in Peoria. We hit the Octoberfest on the River front, saw the River Barge dock on the shore, and walked the shore of the Illinois river looking for sea shells, which we found. Ate out at Cheddars (excellent) and had breakfast at Perkins (which I totally miss out here. But they don't heat their maple syrup! ) God, I'm missing Idaho.

He's back for the weekend so I'm sure we will be busy this weekend getting lots of stuff done, but for right now, it's nice having him on the computer in the other room. Didn't a couple just get divorced because they were on line chatting each other up without knowing the other one was their spouse? The new marriage. Two people, two computers.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dart Season is upon us

So we had the first of the season of tourneyments yesterday. I drew a big dog but we were still out in three. Jim took 6th which he was happy with and got him more points. Then we drove into St. Louis and played in a second tourneyment which was fun and again, out in three but I shot a lot better. So maybe my darts are coming back a little. Some girl was hitting on Jim to make her old man jealous and of course I got into the game. I hate it when I react instead of thinking things through. So I cried all the way home. I know the only thing I can control is my reaction, so why aren't I controlling that!

So today is rest up and get ready for the week to begin again. I started thinking about a new short story, wrote a page then wondered where the story was going so stopped. I think I'm good with scenes not stories. :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Countdown continues

I'm a 1/3rd of the way last Friday. So by this friday I'll be 1/2 way done. The radiation makes me tired. I can feel it after I leave and driving home. But I did some dishes last night and made dinner, and even stayed up to 9:30, a new record!

Labor Day weekend was kind of boring, I should have called home but forgot. And Labor Day I spent in bed, reading and watching TV. We went to Harrahs on Sunday and spent way too much money but had fun and we don't go a lot so I guess it's ok. I'm just trying so hard to pay off these old bills and hospital bills so that we can start saving for a house. I really miss having my own home. Once they do get paid off though we should be able to sock away quite a bit. I dreamed I was buying savings bonds last night. When I worked for DHW, I bought bonds but they got spent down during the divorce. So I guess I'm subconsciously thinking I should be saving more.

I finished the truck book and sent in my final test. I have some wiggle room so I don't have to get a 90 but that would be nice. I got my raise, 4%. I guess that's good. Over a year, I've gotten 13% total with all the test raises. But I only have 3 tests left I can take. I guess I'll really have to push for senior.

Anyway, just wanted to pop in this am and get some thoughts down. Writing, none, since the short story. Reading, finished Mary Higgins Clarkes newest, I've heard that song. and Night of the living Deb by Susan McBride. Started an older Iris Jonhonst (I'm really butchering her name).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

One week done, five to go.

I read somewhere that a cancer patient's life is based around treatments. How many weeks done, where they are in the cycle. I'm finding that to be very true. I am trying to focus on other parts of my life, but the cancer part keeps taking center stage. And I know its short term. But its overwhelming sometimes. I feel like running away (my usual response to danger) and giving up everything I have. Which is not a good sign. Maybe I need to schedule a mental health checkup? I've done so well, maybe not falling apart is a bad sign. Anyway, I am one week and 1 day into this process. I feel ok but tired. I want to do so much and I feel like I'm in stall mode.

Well, I finally passed my review of smart goals for work and now I get a raise, but I don't know how much only that it will go back to July 18th. Next week I'll probably start training the new girl to take on Texas which will lower my stress level totally. I am finished with Chapter 9 of the truck book and only one more chapter to go and I'll get a $500 bonus! That is if I don't blow the next two tests. I have a 94% average over the test so I have a little bit of wiggle room. But I'll be honest and say I'll be glad when it's done.

We bought a new digital camera yesterday. Jim's been playing with it but he wants to go to the Red's game and use it to take pictures of his favorate players. I think it will be fun to go. I'll need to scrounge up some tickets. We went once this year and saw the Reds play and it was really fun. Peanuts and beer. This time I'm getting a t-shirt!

I have my short story edited and ready to go next week. Now to pick a new project.

Have a great week.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Radiation and writing

You would think that those two things are so far off the table, but they're not. Anyway. I started radation on Friday. 4 pm which means I have to be at work at 7 and then off by 3:30. I've been swamped at work and unable to catch up this month. So no overtime for me for the next 6 weeks. It's not so bad but a little scary, watching the machine round around you and knowing that radiation, which is suppose to be a bad thing, is going through your body every time you hear a beep. I wonder if they aren't just testing human's for some evil alien plot to rule the world.

So now you know where writing comes in. During my last simulation, I planned a short story I was going to write for Family Circle contest due at the end of the month. Then after reading what won last year, as I was looking for guidelines such as length, I realized it just wouldn't do. The subject matter was a little dark. Imagine that! I know I look like Pollyanna on the outside, but get me writing!

Anyway, I had whitled this story down to what would have really worked, but since I couldn't use it, I went with "What She Left Behind." It's kind of a story about moving and leaving things and the corresponding woman who died and left behind things. I really like it. It still is a little dark, and I might have to tweak the ending a little, but it works. Lots of detail. Lots of thought. The only bad thing is there is little dialogue which could kill me. I have two weeks to finish and get it in the mail.

Reading: I finished Laura Bradford's Forecast of Evil this week. I'm into St. Louis authors right now so I can say, I read your book if I ever meet one of them! It's a mystery, which I've learned from my studies is different from suspense or a thriller. The book is based on a closed setting (like Agatha Christies books) where an island is snowed in with a serial killer on the loose. It's the middle book in a series so I'll have to go back and get the other before I read her new book, just out.

I can't listen to books anymore as my CD player went out in my car. So I still don't know how Lifeguard by James Patterson ends. And please, don't email me. I'm going to get the book and read the last few chapters.

I also pulled out the 2008 Writer's Market and made some notes on possible markets for my work or where I'd like to try. I have a couple ideas that I think I'll get cracking on next week.

I'm feeling good but pushing myself a little too much. We played darts last Saturday and Monday and I did fine. Didn't lose a lot of energy even though I've been off for about six months.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Dance

Well, yesterday I got my check and two copies of Grit for the essay I submitted. Too cool. It looks great, they did an drawing to go with it and I couldn't be a prouder mommy! Now to get my butt working again and get more sent out.

This truck training I'm doing is draining, but my scores are good.

Radiation still hasn't started. I fell apart last week and swore I wasn't doing any of this any more. But I was calmly told by others that this wasn't an option. So I go back Wednesday for my simulation with a fake machine and then start.

This has to be quick as I have got to get to work and I'm still in my jammies.

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Feeling fine

It's eleven days out from my last chemo and I'm feeling fine. Better than fine, actually good to normal. I was tired out yesterday but that might have been work and doctor's appointment. Today I walked! Did a couple of loads of laundry, cleaned up a few things, did a little shopping and went to Jim's folks for a BBQ for his brother's birthday. And I still feel fine.

Maybe it will stay this way?

We are talking about looking at a house tomorrow. I'm nervous because I'm talking myself into this house really easy so if we don't get it, I'll feel disappointed. But no risk, no gain.

My New Years Resolution - Cancer essay I submitted was probably rejected. I say probably because the email response I got was "Thanks, if we want to use it, you'll hear from us, otherwise, hope your life goes well..." But I have sent out two essays in two months as well as two fillers to Family Circle and the St. Louis Post. Pretty good submissions for now. I have a story started for the Cup of Comfort Breast Cancer Survivors call and should finish that up tomorrow am. So that will be three total submissions this week and I have the information for a query letter to either AAA Midwest or Bird Watchers, so I'll get that written and popped off tomorrow as well.

Reading: Finished Survivor by Death, JD Robb. (Good story with a lot of insight into Dallas' and Roarke's emotional makeup from the horrific childhood they both had. ) Finished How to Write Killer Fiction by Carolyn Wheat. (Nice discussion of the difference between mystery and suspense.) Reading Writing for Money by Loriann Hoff Oberlin. (Lots of excellent tips on different ways to make money in the writing area) Gently Down the Stream by Matt Weinstein and Luke Barber. (Business positive!) And Precision Truck Training. A course in mid-range diesels. (Guess which ones are for work!)

I'm actually listening to Breach of Silence (I think) by Sandra Brown which is a romance\suspense novel. I am learning a lot about story arc's and chapter hook endings And its a break from all the mysterys I had been listening to.

I watched a season of The Next Food Network Star the other night (love Tivo) and dreamed that my actions were being judged all night. So I have to mix up my sensory input until the Taxol gets out of my system.

Jim's home after being out of town all week. And I wrote while he was gone. Happy dance.


Friday, July 06, 2007

New computer stuff...

And my computer at work took a dive so I'm working at someone else's desk. Don't know what I'm going to do on Monday But at home, I have a wireless keyboard and mouse. I have to say the mouse is very fast for me and I can't find the delete key on the keyboard so I keep having lines in my writing. But I love it. I think just because its new.

I wrote a short essay but have lots of work to do on it. My writing style is very formal, especially when I write about the cancer. Maybe I'm trying to distance myself from it.

Jim is unhappy that his insurance is costing so much and I'm worried about the budget and trying to get old bills paid off so we can buy a house next year. Life never completely slides by does it? No truly easy patch where you can say everything's so fine it's boring. Maybe only the lucky ones get to say that. I keep digging out to have the dirt fall back on me twice as deep.

Well, today is Homer's surgury so I better get in the shower and take him in. Hopefully this will calm him down a little. Air show this weekend at Scott's Air Force Base.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Must go on....

I feel like I'm that guy in the desert crawling toward an oasis. One more treatment. Two more shots. Count down has begun. I know I'm doing radiation too but getting Chemo over is a huge milestone. And there are no more Cat or Bone scans. If there was more cancer, they would have found it by now. So except for the little cells running around my body, I'm cancer free right now. So next is radiation and then a pill every day to keep the cancer at bay.

Jim doesn't want to go down to the levee to see the fireworks. Too many people. But I do. Cyndi Lauper will be singing at 8pm. I may be fooling myself that I can even do it this year. Push push and maybe everything will be alright.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The one I couldn't remember was Vanish by Tess Gunderson? Now it's Iris Johonnson and the Eve Duncan character who has this scared voice all the time on the tape. Iris writes a lot about parenting in these suspense novels. I realize that's more what I write is suspense, not mystery.

Later, gotta go to work.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Month

Well, I'm down to my last two chemo's. One Tuesday and one two week later. Die all you cancer cells, die. And then on to a month of radiation. I have to say I'm tired of it all. Its wearing me down a lot. I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. And I'm tired of whining. Or what I see as whining. Everyone's journey is so different. I talked to three different women in the last two weeks. 2 with breast cancer and one with a reoccurance of colan cancer. Everyone's situation was so different, but all of them were single. Both of the women with breast cancer are having or had masectamies. The woman with colan cancer was doing chemo three days every two weeks. I am a lucky girl.

Writing done in my evil plan. Ziltch. I could say I was too tired but I just didn't make time for it. Not cool.

Reading: I finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Wow. I can't believe I hadn't read it earlier. I've finished listening to: The Husband by Dean Koontz. Very good and so not like Mr. Koontz. I don't really know what I'm listening to now, but its a hostage taking, Russian hooker who bought her way into US slavery and now has the pregnant homicide detective but did have the medical examiner who found her alive in the cold room of the morgue. I'm also reading a compilization of essays on how to write a murder mystery.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

You wrote what?

Well, my essay has been selected to be published in the Sept/Oct issue of Grit! I'm soooo excited. Now, I'm doing some thinking about my next submission. Everyone I talk to says," now explain again what your essay is about?" I guess I need to work on my pitch. Ultimately I should be sending out 5 queries a week rather than this 1 a month thing. But as my excuse for most things this summer is, I'm going through chemo. I hate being weak.

I tried to go to a Sisters in Crime meeting in St. Louis last week on a day I was feeling good, but it was just too long and by the time I got home after leaving early, I was dead. It was interesting though and something that I might like to do later when I'm feeling better. Jim was out of town last week and will be this week again. He leaves tonight for Peoria.

So my evil plan for while he's gone is to write. I have two projects going that I would like to get done and a short story setting in my head. Fireflys and porch sitting to start. Jim and I and the dogs went for a walk last night and I only spyed one firefly.

The chemo is going better this time, not so much pain, mostly at night now. My shots are still a pain. I think I'm just freaking about them now. The race for the cure was this weekend and although I signed up, I didn't go. Next year!

I'm kind of all over the board on this post today. Not thinking very clearly at all. Sorry about that. My weight is up, but I'm 2.5 pounds down from yesterday. Can you say water weight? I know I'm gaining some but maybe some of it will go away once I stop Chemo.

Jim wants to go camping next weekend. We'll see. I'm a little nervous that I won't feel well and want to go home or to a motel to sleep. Its a good weekend to try as I should be stronger than I am this weekend.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Chemo Brain

Well, the new Chemo (Taxol) is deadly. Ok, maybe that's an overstatement but this stuff really is kicking my butt. I started hurting on Thursday afternoon and I think I'm somewhat over it today. I was able to keep working but I didn't do much but sleep and take pain killers at night. So much for cooking healthy dinners and eating right. I felt good about cleaning the bath tub yesterday and doing a load of dishes. (By hand mind you.) Writing is out of the question, although I did finish reading High Heels are Murder by Elaine Viets. Its a mystery shopping series and one I wish I had thought of. It's based in Maplewood where I work but for me, the towns all run together and it all seems like St. Louis, though the "residents" see the difference, I guess.

I keep coming back to Suzie's husband Gard as he was going through the last stages of Pancreatic Cancer. They rented a hospital bed for him as he was sleeping in the recliner rather than the bed. He looked at it and said he couldn't get it that, it would kill him. And that was where he died. Was it his inability to give in to the cancer that made him fight so hard? I couldn't move the mattress up on the bed today after I changed the sheets and Jim had to do it. I felt so helpless and weak. I've been so strong and independent for so long, and now I can't move the freaking mattress! Ok, sorry, I had to fall apart for a moment, pity party about my hair, my weakness, my lack of independence, etc... I guess Sunday is my day to cry.

I bruised myself giving me a shot this session. I don't know if it was yesterday or some other day but I remember it really hurting and now I have a bruise and a mark where the needle went in.

Oh, I'm listening to the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova on my drive. I actually really like it but this book reviewer yesterday at the BEA session really trashed it. I signed up for the NY Times Books Update and realized, I don't read anything on their lists. Of course, I've been focused on mysteries to try to learn the genre right now, but really, some of the things these guys read? Get a life. I partially listened to a presentation on Why we read what we read, a study about our book habits and heard the part where they trashed romance and said it was all about men having power and the more power over the woman he had, the more popular the ending. Do we want men to have power over us, or do we just want to feel safe in a world that challenges us every day in its fears and opportunities. What's wrong with having one place that we don't have to be in charge and taking care of everything? I like having someone to talk over issues with rather than making all the decisions myself without any advise or assistance.

And with that, I'll sign off. My brain is tired and I think I'll lay down for a while.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Slowing down

Well, I got a forced vacation this week. Three days in the hospital while they tried to find out what was making me sick. The answer, they don't know. But, my blood cell count is now good, my blood pressure is back up into the 100/70 range after two days in the 88/60 area after IV fluids, and my heart hasn't been damaged by the chemo.

The good news is I read three books. Finally finished the Janet Evanavich, read Micheal Kahn's BEARING WITNESS, and Susan McBride's second in her dropout debutant series, THE GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER. Honestly, if I had another book when I started the Kahn book, I don't know if I would have finished it. I went five pages before I realized the main character was female. This got me thinking about my WIP, do I have the knowledge or research done to pull off a male small town sherriff in a big town? And speaking of my WIP, do I even have a plot that is a mystery? It's just like when I was writing romance with no happy ending.

I'm also listening to a Kathy Reich book, MONDAY MOURNING, which is good, but after watching Bones on Fox, I realize how much they have changed the character to meet the perceived needs of the television audience. Don't get me wrong, I love watching Bones but the differences are striking. Tempe in Bones is about 20 years younger than in the books. She doesn't work for the Jeffersonal, she works for a Canadian coronor, a North Carolina Coronor and the NC university. She has a daugher (in college). And is dating a Canadian law enforcement person, not dancing around our favorite vampire (Angel). I wonder how the author feels with all the changes to her character. The only thing they really kept is that she is a forensic anthropologist. I hope she got a lot of money.

So Tuesday I do more Chemo, Taxol this time.

I sent off an essay about the old days on the farm to Grit today. I had queried them a couple weekends ago and they shot back a yes on spec answer. So now I've sent off the finished essay. Its like sending off part of yourself to be judged. Well, I've been rejected before. Maybe I'm scared of being accepted!

Well, it is time to start up the laundry for the weekend. Happy Memorial Day to all.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill.

Yes, we made an unexpected trip to the real Blueberry Hill from the song last Saturday. It was really fun. The food was amazing, fast and cheap with tons of it. I got the Fish and Chips and I swear, there were at least 6 pieces of fish, battered to a crisp, not greasy. They brought vinigar without me asking and the coleslaw and fries that accompanied the fish were in huge proportions and great! Now the beer is a little pricey, $3.50 for a bottle, but that's what they charge in the downtown areas. (See how I talk about the food first?)

Blueberry Hill is in University City. I guess it's named for Washington University which is right down the street and charges $700+/per credit hour for a graduate writing class that I won't be taking. The bar has many rooms but we were in the dart room where they have held this steel tip tourneyment for the last 35 years. It used to be huge, but it has dwindled a little bit in recent years. There were people there from England as well as the St. Louis regulars.

There is a wall of fame with pictures of the singles winners through out the 35 years. Brad Wethington (sorry Brad, I know I'm butchering your name) has won the men's singles so many times, his pictures on the wall show his growing up from a sweet 20 something (1992) to the more mature man he is now.

Jim played doubles and his darts were great, just not enough to keep up with the competition. They smoked their first opponents then took on Steve Brown (who is also on the wall of fame) and Jim and his partner were unable to get passed them. And steel tip is single elimination. So, after talking for a while, taking in the eclectic nature of the bar, we went home. I'm glad we went even though Jim didn't place as Blueberry Hill is one of the places we wanted to see in St. Louis and Jim realized that his steel tip skills are pretty good!

You can buy dart shirts from Blueberry Hill at www.BlueberryHill.com. And if you are ever in St. Louis, we have to go!

I'm more tired this week than I've been ever. I think the Chemo is sneaking up on me. I had a lot of pain from the shots this week and I am still dealing with that. I'm trying to drink a lot of water and eat at least my five fruits and veggies, but it's hard sometimes. So even though they have a lot of calories, I'm counting my juice!

In the writing realm, I sent off a query to Grit and got a request back to see the essay on spec. I'm pretty jacked about that. I'm planning on finishing it up this weekend and getting it back out on Monday. Wish me luck!

I'm signed up for the Enterprise Team for Race for the Cure. Enterprise is paying for our entry! So hopefully I'll feel strong enough to walk. And I'm suppose to volunteer for the St. Louis Jazz festival in a couple weeks, but I've been assigned to greet and I'm not sure if that's a great idea with my weakened immune system. What is it about me that I can't deal with my limitations? I told Jill yesterday that I'm not sick! I'm just dealing with the results of the treatment to keep me from getting sick! Is that the wrong way to look at it? What do you think?

Listing to TWO DOLLAR BILL by Stuart Woods. Its funny but kind of sexist in a lot of ways and the sex scences seem really fake. Like when the hooker says she F*cked his brains out, and giggles. And he was dating and sleeping with this one girl and the next night he's back with an old girlfriend, with no qualms about the first girl. Maybe men think this way and its just women who think it's fake.

Reading, not much. Way too tired to get anything done. I am still in Janet's Four to Score but at least I can pick it up and put it down without losing track of the story.

Off to jump into the shower. Lots to do this Saturday. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

On my way!

Well, halfway has come and gone and I'm set up for a new drug next Chemo the 22nd. I think its called Taxol. I know it came from the California Yew tree which was almost extinct before they found the use for the tree. Funny how that happens. They tell me this will be less nauseating but I'll be more tired since they give me benedril first. So Jim will have to drive me at least the first time. Last night I got the lecture from his mom and dad because I went to this treatment by myself. They don't get that I need that independence sometime. And maybe I don't get that they want to help.

And, its shot time again!

I started a story about called Miss Emily this week but haven't got very far in it. I was hoping to have it done by the 15th and shoot it over to the Writer's Digest contest, but I guess I'm going to miss that this year too. I guess sometimes I wait too long for inspiration to come and forget that the muse comes while working, not while doing other things, at least for me.

I looked up the information to start working on my MA in Instructional Design. I think for a work degree (not my dream one of a MFA in creative writing) its a good one to have. It will really position me for a lot of jobs in this area at least and will give me a heads up if I go back home to get into the business end of the valley rather than health care. I could teach a lot of things in health care, but they want you to have a nursing degree for all the positions I saw and I don't want to say in business ie finance part. It just drives me crazy that one class is going to cost me almost $1000. So I need 36 hours, $36K to get a degree. Hmmmmm. May have to think about that. I'm going to try to get this set up and hit up my supervisor at my year review and see if work will pay at least some of this fall class. Summer is way out of the question. And I still have to take my GRE (another $130). Lottery, where are you!

In Patricia Cornwall's TRACE on my drive time. This book is interesting as it is more character driven than plot driven. A lot more like how I work with my writing. Here you know who the killer is way before Kay or Lucy do and if they were all just talking to each other, it would be different. Keeping those secrets tend to streatch out the process even though we think we are saving the other person hurt or worry. Reading a lot of cozy's lately has made me wonder a lot about my structure and writing style.

Reading, still in BEAUTIFUL LIES, Lisa Unger. I thought I'd get it done on Chemo day but didn't. And not taking the few minutes at work to stop and read a little on break, trying to make up as much time as possible to keep those checks at a normal pace to get this all behind me so my dream of going back to school can come a little closer.

I do need to find a writing group, even if it just meets once a month to keep me more focused on writing. I tend to get caught up in my every day stuff, and I know, I have enough of it, but I want to write. I want to write better. And if these two statements are true, I should be able to find some time to do what I really want. I find time to do other things!

Its suppose to be a nice weekend. Maybe I'll get my flowers planted. The garden went in last week.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Almost half way through

Well, I am at least with the Chemo. The treatment I get on Tuesday will be number 4. Of course I ran into a new problem, pain from the shingles hit on Friday night. So Saturday morning after talking to the fellow on call, I got another prescription. As I type, I am hoping it's going to kick in at any time. So this post will probably be pretty short. And a story is trying to come through but I can't sit for any length of time to get it down right now.

Another dart friend from Illinois has passed away this weekend. Mike Bova. He said he was having back problems and died of a heart attack. What more is there to say. Its very sad as he was a very nice man.

I got scared Saturday about my mortality. So I called a friend and just started crying. Jim had said something before I left for the laundry mat about changing jobs and it scared me to. So when I called Nina, all I could do is cry. She was so funny, she offered me a place to stay if I needed to come home for a while but it wasn't even that. There are so many under the surface fears that this diagnosis brings that I don't talk about. But I've gone through a lot already and I know I might have to go through more, but I am strong and can do this. Even if I look like a biker in my scarves.

I watched the news on Friday morning and realized why I don't watch the news around here. Blood, death, guts and gore. There is an awful lot of drug use here. A lot of shootings, stabbings, car accidents. I guess its just fodder for my mysterys. But what I'm finding with the mysterys I've been reading, there is a certain path or formula if you will for the mysterys. Hunt Road doesn't follow these so I'm wondering if I'm writing backstory again? I chucked about four chapters several years ago when I realized I was writing backstory. But maybe my problem is I'm not writing a mystery? It was just like when I was writing my short stories that seemed like romance but didn't have the happy ever after ending. I think I just need to write the story as I see it and then figure out if its marketable as it stands or needs a total rewrite.

There was a huge discussion on Wicked Company this week about the slush pile and how many really good stories get thrown away because the magazine didn't have room for them or the editor just didn't like them. I threw in my 2 cents which came from reading Idaho Review slush and said, really there weren't that many "excellent" stories in the slush pile. Out of the 100s I read that semester, I can only remember two or three that I said, we have to look at this one. Now even with those few, I think only one passed the reviewing board and made it in the book. But a lot of the stories were just bad. Really bad. But we have this one writer who thinks that just isn't true. I think she's dealing with rejection syndrome. Where you think your stories are great and so must every one else's stories that get rejected are great too.

My pain pill is starting to kick in a little so I feel like I can breathe. Can I say this really sucks! Well, it does. I have my prescriptions filled for the next round of Chemo. I need to buy some pudding but I'm full on soups. So here goes.

Reading? I'm not as much but working on S is for Silence, Sue Grafton which is an audio book. Thanks to the person who thought this idea up. It makes the drive so much better! I'm almost done and Kinsey is running from the murderer. Its been fun, lots of red herrings, in fact she had me convinced someone was the villian up until the end. And that's the difference in those mysteries and Hunt Road. I know and the reader knows who the killer is by chapter three, I think. So what am I writing? Why does anyone want to read it?

Other readings? I'm working on Lisa Unger's Beautiful Lies and Janet Evanovich's Four to Score. Not having to go to the hospital for shots for seven days after chemo has cut into my reading time. When I'm home and awake, I feel like I should be doing something or talking to Jim.

Well, I think I'm done with the pity party and since the pill has loosened up my arm, I think I will try to get Miss Emily's story started today.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

So, how are you doing?

How many times have I been asked that question lately? Maybe as often as, "So, you are still working?" Having a breast cancer diagnosis seems to go with a lot of fear, not only for me but my family, friends, and just the general public. I did learn at the Susan Koman walk presentation that a history of prostrate cancer in your family (my dad) can indicate breast cancer later. Humm, I wonder if that will pass from me to my son as a genedic disposition for breast cancer or prostrate? Another worry floating around in my head.

But my answer to the topic? I'm doing well. A lot of fatigue, but really doing well as much as I could expect or even better. I was a little weepy at my doctor's visit this week before Chemo and he had the heart to heart about how this is the hardest thing I have ever done and it's not an easy journey. And that is what it is, a journey. I've always seen life as terms of destination. When I ever get promoted and we have more money, life will be good. When my lazy ex husband decides to be better and get a job, life will be good. When I graduate from high school and move out of my crazy home provided by my mom and step father and Black Daniels, life will be good. But even with all the counseling and self help books and living through grief with the loss of a baby and the loss of a dream of a marriage, I don't think I've ever really just relaxed and enjoyed the journey.

I have lived a dream life for so long, in my dreams, not in my real life, am I ever going to be able to bring those dreams out into the waking world and focus into being happy now? And if I just worry about now, am I giving up future dreams? My sister was so focused on what she wanted to be when she grew up and she did it. She's my role model. First finding the job, then the associates, the bachelors and finally reaching what I've been striving for yet putting off for the men in my life for years, a masters degree. Hers is in nursing but I still haven't narrowed my focus down enough to describe it, let alone find it. I want to be in organizational design. Team building, mentoring, coaching, advising, training and writing.

Eyes bigger than my stomach? I don't know. I just know that Enterprise has been wonderful to me during this phase of my journey. I don't think I'm using my talents in the most productive way but I don't have a lot of work pressures or demands on me right now so a day off for Chemo won't hurt someone or damage my position.

Reading: Not much but I finished a Tami Hoag CD Bad Acts that was excellent. Very detailed lots of red herrings, lots of gore. Started a Susan Grafton CD yesterday. Last night I had mystery nightmares, being killed, abducted, etc. Maybe I should lighten my reading a bit!

I did read the first book in the Debutante Dropout Mystery series Blue Blood by Susan McBride, a St. Louis writer. Actually very good. A fun, fast read. 4 hours (I needed a magazine to finish my Chemo tuesday and I had just started it that morning.)

Well, later. Jeani, I'll answer your question off line.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The last week...

Well, its been quite a week. I thought I was going to have that feel good week in between chemos but it wasn't to be. I started getting sick on Monday and they had me calling in and taking my temp at home. Tuesday we started taking blood and I stayed home from work and worried. Tuesday night I noticed a raised spot on my back that iched like heck. When I called in, they put me on a medicine for shingles (also genital herpes according to the label :) ). When I went in for my shots on Wednesday, they took more blood, looked at my sore, and called it all into the doctor who had been threatening to put me in the hospital for IV antibiotics if my fever continued.
Well, everything started to calm down and by yesterday, I was feeling a lot better and my nurse told me that my wednesday blood counts were already going up from Tuesdays. I guess they look at giving you transfusions when they get too low. More news to me. My nurse coordinator thinks my counts will be back up to normal by Tuesday when I'm scheduled for Chemo. If not, they will put it off a week, which will really suck since I have things scheduled based on my Tuesday chemo days.

We threw darts Wednesday and I just wore my hat. People were so nice but I felt like a dork. How come guys can have no hair and we still think they look good, but girls need that hair to even come close?

What have I been reading? Sliver of Truth, Lisa Unger. Wow, this was a ride from the first moment I opened the book. I guess its a continuation from her first, Beautiful Lies which now I have to read. Her protaganist is funny and accessable, yet not predictable. She does a lot of the dumb naive things I could see myself doing if I was even close to being in a situation like hers. And, like my family, secrets abound and people disappoint you.

I just started Staying Home is a Killer by Sara Rosett. Fun read. Easy to pick up before doctor appointments and while I'm waiting without losing my place in the story.

The really kind nurse in the weekend cancer clinic at Barnes Jewish gave me the Susan McBride books in the Deutante Dropout Series. Susan is a St. Louis writer, my new home, and we were talking about the different writers who live in the area. Miss nurse, sorry, I don't know her name, said she met her at a book fair and was given the first book, so she had to go buy the other two. Marketing did work in this case. I'm probably going to start Blue Blood next.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bad Hair Day

Ok, that's an understatement! It is coming out. By the handfuls. And I know its normal, but still it is driving me crazy. Two days ago at work, everyone thought I had gotten a hair cut it was so short, but no, just falling out. I will have to wear the wig on Monday so I'm glad I went and got it last week.

On other cancer news, the chemo seems to be not as bad this time for my stomach, but I'm a lot more tired and worn out. I'm still doing shots at the hospital but I got my grant approved and I should do them at home next round.


To finish my post, I took a few hours (ok, days) off in between. But SEE ABOVE! Today is the first day I'm trying out my wig at work so I'm like going to high school for the first time. Its trying on all those clothes you thought looked sharp in the mall and now having nothing to wear on THE-MOST-IMPORTANT-DAY-OF-YOUR-LIFE feeling. ( I learned that technique in Non fiction class over at BSU, impressed, huh!)

Alex called yesterday (my son) and I just cried. Not because of anything, I just miss him so much. I'm not 7 hours away now, I'm two days away from him if I got a wide hair and started driving.

As far as writing, I went on a four day roll at the first of the month and haven't touched a word since. I know, I have a few things on my mind, but you would think this would be the time to get writing, about those fears, the tests, the other people? I met a man at my last shot who said he went to shave, put the shaving cream on, and half his beard came off with the cream. Sad huh.

Well, if anyone has any hats they want to send my way, I'd love to get some. I have a skull cap thing and a baseball cap and my wig. I'm going to have to go shopping this weekend for some turbans.

Here's to good hair days for the rest of you.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Well, I know I haven't posted but I have a couple good excuses. Mostly, my computer has been down and it seems like we are sharing an internet connection rather than it working like it is suppose to where we both can get on. So I've been borrowing computer time from Jim and then checking email, etc at work. It's funny how much you have stored in your own computer and how much of a pain it is to change up.

So where was I when I last posted. March 14th. I probably was still in the throws of the metatisis scare. The bump on my shoulder blade that looked like it was neck rather than in the breast cancer line of fire. Well, I re did a CT scan, thinking NO CANCER. NO CANCER. all the time. And it has come back that it is still localized. Thank God, big sigh of relief.

Its funny, I was waiting for my first oncology appointment looking at hats and wigs catalog feeling sorry for myself that I was going to lose my hair but when I thought I was going to lose my life, my hair didn't seem to be that big of thing. Now that I've had my first Chemo and second is the upcoming Tuesday, I'm worried about my hair again. I ordered a wig but now I'm concerned that the insurance will not cover it even though the care coordinator I talked to said they would.

Chemo makes me nauseous (but no vomiting this round) and very tired for days after. Then I get shots that make my back hurt, nauseous, and have diarrea. As far as eating, I now know the definition and execution of emotional eating. I eat to feel better, to feel normal, because I can, and lastly, because I need to. But mostly I eat. Cookies, candy, soda, anything that "comforts" me, especially mashed potatos. I am an Idaho girl! But one round of eight is done and only 7 more to go.

I am still fighting for co pay assistance to allow me to get the shots delivered at home so I give them myself rather than go to the hospital every day for seven days after the Chemo. My co pay for the drug is $514 up to $1500 max out of pocket. This is why you are told to save for a rainy day cuz its pouring around here. I guess there is no good time to get cancer, but this is probably the worst time financially for us. I did work full time this week for the first time since I got back, but next week, I know I'll lose at least a day due to the Chemo. I should be counting my blessings that I am able to work and that my insurance is as good as it is, which I am thankful for. I am doing some mystery shops on Monday to try to bring a little more funds into the household, but I wonder if I'm just setting myself up to fail again. I 'd like to find a little publication here like at home where I could write a monthly article for and get paid for it. Need to do some more research.

Speaking of writing which is what this blog is suppose to be about, I wrote in my novel twice this week. So, I need to get off here and make it three days which is amazing. I haven't written this much since I was taking classes.

Be good to each other and live happy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Planning for life

I got thinking this am since I couldn't sleep, the doctors messed with my mind yesterday again, Who's in control, the cancer or me? But I digress. So anyway, I got thinking about how my life revolves around planning. Planning when to go to darts, my doctor appointments, my work schedule, what I want to do in the future (whatever length of time that is) but planning. I loved my Franklin when I first got it. Planning and scheduling gave me control over something in my life and since I was married to the sadist, it was about the only thing I had control over. Planning gives me comfort. I may not be the best at it and following through on my plans, especially the writing ones seems to be my downfall. Maybe that's my strength, planning.

I go back to work on Friday which will be a blessing. Being broke and unable to do anything has really dragged me down. I feel like I'm struggling to breathe sometimes. I have a stack of books to read and have the television on the country music station so I'm feeling pretty happy at least on the surface. I have the blinds open and there is sunshine streaming through the windows which always helps lighten the mood.

So what things are important for me to get done? When I'm old and sitting on the front porch in my rocker with a basket next to me filled with my regrets of things I haven't done, what will be in the basket? (I haven't done this imaging lately but it seems to work for me to focus me on what I want at least in the short term.)

I want to ***
go to Hawaii.
have a Masters.
finish a novel (writing it that is)
see my grandchildren.
visit Seattle again.
go to South Carolina or Georgia to see the plantations.
visit New Orleans.
go to Disney world.
leave the country. (Canada, Mexico, Europe, Russia, Eygpt?)

Looks like travel is in my future!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Another day, another doctor appointment.

Well, I've been to St. Louis twice this week for doctor appointments. Wednesday for a bone scan and CT scan and today for my radiologist oncologist. Good news on both parts, my scans came back clean so there is no metasisize cancer anywhere else that they can see. And, I don't have to have radiation until July/August after Chemo.

They did find a new lymph node thats all swollen, but hopefully its just reacting to the surgery. I'm tired so I think I'll go lay down for a while. Its been like that lately, having enough energy for about 4-6 hours but then dragging.

It's been a good day!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

One week later

Well, my surgery was a week ago on Wednesday and I'm still feeling beat up and flying a little high on the pain meds, so bear with me. My keyboard sticks on this computer, the new one that came with the Dell I just bought got the cord chewed up by Homer, the amazing chewing Pommy that Jim just had to keep but is my dog now. Maybe when I get back to work I'll get a wireless keyboard and mouse combo. See, I'm always dreaming.

I don't really remember where I left the blog off. I know I told you all about the second set of mamograms but maybe not about the biopsies and the fact that it came back as "a small cancer" on my left side as well as cancer in my lymph nodes on the left and "atypical" cells on the calcifications on the right. So we did lumpectomies on both sides and took out several lymph nodes on the left. Tomorrow I get to find out if the margins were clear or not and if the cancer is hormone based which means I'll be on another medicine for five years in addition to the Chemo and Radiation. Its a little overwhelming sometimes but everyone (except one person) has been very positive and upbeat when talking to me and that really helps. It's just like when I was training and I'd get 100 great evaluations but focus on that one that said I didn't make any sense at all and I should never train again. Is this human nature? Or just my environmental learning cues that came from my childhood?

I'm getting better at saying I have breast cancer without falling apart right afterwards. I haven't even gone down the road of research to see what's happening next. Its been very overwhelming (I'm sure I'll use that word more than a few times) but I want to stay positive and try not to worry myself about things that are out of my control. I'd like to say its given me loads more to write about but my creative well is tired right now and my muse seems to get higher on the pain meds than I do. I know, the world is full of excuses.

But for now, that's where I am. Work sent me this awesome plant and I've gotten cards from lots of old friends and a get well package from a dart friend which were all total blessings. I've gotten a little money from several friends which has helped more than I will admit. Between parking at the hospital, the gas to St. Louis, and the co pays on the medicine, I would have been unable to get through without this help. I guess this is the time that I need to understand that gifts are not a sign of my weakness but a sign of strenght that I'm able to ask for help when I need it. I've taken care of myself for so long (and others) that admitting I can't take care of myself and everything that surrounds me is so hard. Maybe this is the lesson I need to learn?

Well, now I'm crying, (big baby) so I'm going to end this and park myself in front of the tv for a while. Kiss the ones you love and call the ones you can't reach. Its important, believe me.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Goal # !- Get Healthy, Right.

Well, its been an interesting two weeks. Trying to get all the "must do" appointments out of the way, like my mammogram, and I run into more problems. I've said that if I thought there was a problem, I wouldn't have done the mamo in the first place. Ok, I know my logic is messed up.

So, I had the second screening mamo appointment. Note to reception staff, it doesn't make the patient feel any better when you look at the tests scheduled and say, "Oh my, your having a bilateral mamo something or other (Ok, not an exact quote)" and look at her with worried eyes. After disrobing from the waist up and putting on one of the pretty peptobismal pink robes, that tye in the front but always feel like you are falling out, special patients like me get to go to the second waiting room where they are closer to the mamogram, ultrasound, and biopsy machines. I think I should invent a robe with a built in bra shelf so patients doen't feel like they are haning out there and at least the breasts get a little support.

After waiting an hour, which I think is payback since my first mamo was so quick and I got right in to the technician, I am finally taken back for the multiple squeezing and flattening process. Now this tech thought I knew what they were looking for but really didn't fill me in at all. I went back to the waiting room and after another 30 minutes, was taken back for more views of the left breast. During this, the same tech asked if I had had an ultrasound on that breast yet. I of course said no, gently crying during this process, and she sent me back out to wait some more.

Now Jim had coached me to understand that there was nothing wrong, that maybe they had even done the test wrong the first time and they were just being careful. OF course this was not the case, so I called him to vent, but then I was called back to do the ultra sound.

The male intern (think Grays Anatomy) was very informative and very inclusive, talking about what he was doing and that his resident would also want to look at the results. They took pictures of the tumor and of the lymph node that was swollen as well. During this time, he explained that I would need a biopsy of both the left breast tumor and the lymph node. I didn't realize I would also need a biopsy of the calcifications in the right breast. But that's what Mary Ellen, the nurse who made the appointment for me explained later. All in all, this second appointment took 3 hours.

The biopsy was scheduled for Thursday (2/1) and I went back to work to try to sort all this out in my head. So writing has taken a back seat to worry, and now I worry about financial and medical stuff, lucky me.

I keep thinking of Kathy Kelly who died when I worked for Health and Welfare of ovarian cancer. She kept going to doctors who didn't find anything wrong until it was too late. I took over her AFDC caseload when she went on medical leave. She worked up until the last days and then never had time or money to do the things she wanted. I don't want to be like that. How do you prioritize the important things in your life with the must do things? So right now I watch a lot of television. Denial is a good thing.

I will write about the biopsy later, but right now I'm tired of the subject. I'll let you know that my results should be back Tuesday and I have an appointment scheduled with the surgeon on Thursday.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

January Blues

Well, I wrote a lot at the end of December but nothing since then. I hate writing down my goals because then I look at why I'm not following through. So, losing weight, no. Writing daily, no. Sending out projects, no.

I did go to my Rheumatologist, but didn't do the lab work. So I'll have to move that followup appointment. I got my bone scan and mammogram, but the mammogram came back bad so I go back in Monday. I'm trying not to stress but you know me.

Financially we are a wreak but maybe it will be better now.

Well darts are calling, gotta go.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

It is with great joy and fear that I look to this next year. Having made such drastic changes to my life in 300+, I wonder what 2007 will bring. I have been thinking a lot about my goals and dreams for this year and have waxed poeticly about them in a list of SMART (I hope) goals at work. But I really want to focus on two.

1- Be healthier at the end of 2007 than I am in the beginning. Steps to include limiting worry, losing weight (at least 20 pounds this year), exercising 3-5 times weekly, limiting alcohol and sweets, and eating healthy foods, like fruits and veggies 3-5 day and 3 servings of dairy a day.

and 2-Write more! I have set up a writers notebook with a calendar and writing opportunities listed on each month. I have joined the Open Doors newsletter staff at work and had one article published. I think this will teach me more about real journalism processes. I have drafted a children's mystery story for the Highlights contest due this month. And I will pick one novel I've started to finish this year. I think it will be Hunt Road, the story of Greg, an amature slueth and reluctant medium who follows the trail of a murderous wife beater to solve the death of a local drunk, who has no one else to stand up for him, finding love along the way. Ok, so my hook needs a little more work. Like why does anyone care?

The other project I will finish within the next three months (see a deadline, I can set them, I just have problems with the execution), is a story for True Confessions. I think using some of my experiences from my real life, like the time I lived with the child molester who controlled my life for a year, should be able to give me some writing fodder for this gendre. You would think with the number of these I read during my childhood, they should be easy to write!

Anyway, those are my focus goals. Of course, I set getting my budget under control (not totally in my court), increasing my pay at work and getting a promotion?, and a few others as well. But I will be happy to follow the path set for me above.

And now, I need to go exercise. Hope your day is filled with exciting planning and careful execution.