What I’ve Been Up To – Update

As many of you probably know, in September 2018, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer; Her2 positive cancer cells.  It’s a progressive cancer, but thankfully there are two immunology drugs for treatment.  As of March 1, 2021, I am now 2 years NED (No Evidence of Disease). 

Sadly, my heart hurts for those still on the journey, and those whose journey ended.

Some of you might know Michael Hulshof-Schmidt.  His blog is Social Justice For All.  Michael’s husband is leaving the blog up, and I am grateful for that.

I don’t quite remember when it was that Michael and I met. It may have been in 2013 or 2014, but we became blogging buddies.   Michael went through chemo for colon cancer, a massive heart attack, and then the cancer recurred in his liver.  He put up a courageous fight, but on January 30, 2021, he transitioned. 

Then there are other courageous people on the journey who find time to encourage others, such as Ilene of the Cancer Bus.

 Now, I’m on conservative follow-up of every 6 months.  My cancer marker tests have consistently scored 17 for over a year now.  Any score under 30 is good.  Meanwhile, I had surgery on my left foot in February and currently have sterile-strips on my big toe.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to wear a closed-in shoe in a week.

Other than that, the Homemaker program has given me the willies. In four months, I’ve gone through two homemakers. The last one is addicted to her cell phone.  I tried to cooperate by offering to give her breaks to check her cell phone, but she said “I’m good”.  About a week before, the cord on my vacuum cleaner was stripped down to the wires.  She was the only one to use the vacuum cleaner.  Now, I think I know how that happened.  About 2 weeks ago, I discovered her pushing the new vacuum cleaner with her left hand while checking her cell phone with her right hand.  I started having trust issues.  She could have been honest with me and said she needed a break to check her cell phone, but she choose to sneak instead. 

The Homemaker program leaves much to be desired and while I truly need the services, I do have a better piece of mind when not having a Homemaker. Covid is a concern.  One Homemaker gave me the run-down on how she dined-in and had out-of-town family to her house.  Among other things, through Homemakers stealing, (including my food), wanting to borrow money, talking about their financial problems, and flat-out refusing to do chores in my plan of care, I’m now damaged goods.  This week I’ll decide whether to suspend the services until Covid is under control, or that I only be sent a Homemaker who has been vaccinated.  In the alternative, I’ll need to look for my own Homemaker who I can interview first.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

Speaking of vaccination, I signed up through the county’s website for the Covid vaccination.  So did my son.  He was scheduled for his vaccination yesterday and received the Johnson & Johnson. 

Last week I spoke with my care manager from the hospital about getting the vaccination. It seems that county health departments would coordinate with local physicians to refer their high risk patients for vaccinations.  That might take some time on behalf of physicians, but it would eliminate trying to navigate the county’s website for appointment.  For example, I received an email about scheduling an appointment and clicked the link.  The page it took me to said no appointments were available and to check back on the site.  This was the same day that my son was sent an appointment.

This morning, I received a message from a physician referring me for an appointment.  I’m now scheduled to receive the vaccination on Thursday.  Not only that, but because I’m prone to allergies, (certain foods and medicines), I’ll receive the shot where Prompt Care is located. 

The mRNA technology that developed two of the cancer drugs in my treatment is the same technology used by Pfizer and Moderna to develop Covid-19 vaccinations.  For me, that takes the worry out of whether the vaccinations are safe.  Although I saw a mention of this on one of the cable television news programs, I really wish that they would discuss it more.  It might help to put some concerns at rest. 

The way I figure it, if I took a chance of being treated with mRNA drugs to prevent dying from cancer, I can take it to prevent dying from Covid-19. 

Still Looking Forward to Returning to Blogging Regularly

I don’t think it will happen.  After more than 8 years of blogging, I’m tired.  Things have changed.  It takes hours to research news sources to find the 5-W’s when reporting.  Some of the sources require subscription fees if you visit more than a few times in one month.  I’ve taken to tweeting out news sources on Twitter rather than writing blog posts about issues in the news. 

I miss being able to check up on blogs I follow on a regular basis.  After careful searching to understand my lack of energy and motivation, I realize that most of it is due to being zapped after having another stranger in my home who it seems I can’t leave alone for 2 minutes.  When evenings come, I usually end up using the little energy I have left by going on Twitter.

Volunteer Projects

I crochet caps that I donate to cancer centers.  One cancer center would send me a thank-you card about 3 days after I made a delivery.  Evidently, their staff must have changed because after donating more than 80 caps last year, I did not receive a thank you card.  In spite of that, I do it for the patients so will look beyond not receiving a thanks from the staff.

There’s a batch now ready for delivery, but I first have to get the okay from the podiatrist to walk more than several feet so I can deliver them.  Last week I thought there might not be an immediate need for chemo caps, then today we got a blizzard.

President Joe Biden Has Given Me A Sigh of Relief

Hallelujah that we now have a President who is presidential.  President Biden has lifted weights off my shoulders.  Mostly, I don’t have to worry about turning on cable news and hearing Donald Trump lie and make a fool out of himself. 

The following video was produced by Turnaround Arts and Playing For Change to share the message that the arts have the power to improve our schools and build more compassionate, connected communities.








Posted on 03/15/2021, in Potpourri, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. I am happy you are doing well. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been seeing some of your tweets on Twitter, but it’s good to hear from you in the blogging realm as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brendan,
      Since Twitter is limited to the number of characters, I can be short and quick. LOL! If I can commit to weekends for blogging and catching-up with blogs I follow, that would be a good start for me. No promises, but I’m going to try. I miss comment exchanges on blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to hear from you….be well and be safe chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Chuq. I saw where you wrote a somewhat controversial post — plan on reading it in full.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you like….I write so many LOL I sympathize my better half is dealing with aggressive skin cancer which is from the radiation after her breast cancer….I hope you stay we…..chuq

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chuq,
          I am so sorry to hear about your better half. When I researched after my diagnosis, the only thing I remember off hand about skin cancer is a CBD oil by Rick Simpson. I just took a look at my “go-to” site for my go-to ginger and found that ground ginger also fights against skin cancer.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanx for the lino….she is going through chemo for now before they make a decision about surgery….I appreciate your kind words…..chuq

            Liked by 1 person

          • I started taking a teaspoon of ground ginger daily about 3 months before my surgery. Two weeks before surgery, the surgeon said he felt the tumor to be about the size of a peanut. Pathology report came back no cancer cells found, and that included 4 removed lymph nodes. I continued taking a teaspoon of ground ginger daily for 6 months during post-surgical treatment. Researchers were actually searching for an answer as to why cancer recurs. They found that cancer has stem cells. They began testing chemo drugs on stem cells and found that none of the current drugs kill them. Then, they started testing with natural supplements and herbs, and found that ground ginger destroys cancer stem cells. The only thing that the study omits is how long it should be taken, so I continue to take it at least once a week. It’s good for so many other things. My bad cholesterol has also declined although I take no medication to lower it.

            Of course, all of those studies say that more research is needed – a delivery method must be developed. Man has to include something man-made in order to have it patented. If not patented, the FDA cannot approve it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I shall pass on this to Sue…..I appreciate your input……I am sure that she will research this…..thanx again for your help chuq

            Liked by 1 person

          • Chuq,
            Here’s hoping the best for you and Sue.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Xena I appreciate those kind words…..she started the chemo treatment Monday…..chuq

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh my! Depending on the type of chemo drugs, nausea and weakness might hit her hard beginning today. The nausea and pain generally starts 3 days after chemo and last for another 2 days. Some chemo drugs are worst than others. Then there’s the water — water, water, water, to hydrate and help the body replace blood cells. I truly hope that her physicians take good care of her.

            Liked by 1 person

          • So far they have been exemplary that have worked with her all the way…..she goes every two months to Anderson in Houston…those docs are experts in skin cancer. chuq

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    My dearest dear, so GOOD to see you hear!! Your are one tough woman!! Heard about Michael … all my love to my blogger friens!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so gooooooood fo see you here!! Awesome, simply awesome! Would love to chat – if you have some time and at your convenience!! Let me know … take you time! Stay well! ❤ ❤ …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Horty! Thanks for stopping by, dear friend. Would love to chat too. DM me on Twitter so we can set a time. If it’s Thursday evening, you might be able to hear me moan and groan after getting vaccinated. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s great seeing another post from you. I hope you’re doing well, Xena.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there, dear friend. I’m doing very good considering all the circumstances. It’s good seeing you. Here’s hoping everything is well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello, Xena! I’m glad you’re well. I’m doing my best to keep at it with work, my creative projects, and my blogs. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • As the saying goes, “Make hay while the sun shines. ” These last 8 years I’ve come to learn that time goes by quickly. Happy to hear that you are pursuing your dreams, and your goals.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Don’t think I’ve heard of that saying before, but I see what you mean. I really feel like time has been going by so fast. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since lockdown happened. Thank you, Xena.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. When I saw the first line of your post in Reader, I held my breath, but I am SO relieved to hear you are still cancer-free!!! I do understand you being tired of regular blogging, but we do miss you, so a post from you is always a welcome treat! Your homemakers sound like my worst nightmare! I would likely have told them to forget it by now. Take care, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jill,
      Thanks so much for your kind words and understanding. Yeah — homemaker nightmare is right. Thus far, I’ve had 2 weeks without one and as you see, I was able to write a blog post. Not only that, but I was able to work on getting an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccination, talk to some family members and make other calls during the day without big ears overhearing. I want to say forget it, then I don’t. I do need the help with the kitchen, and it helps to have someone take me on errands. I can still drive and have a car, but there are days I’m not up to driving and certainly not up to carrying groceries in by myself. Then too, I allowed the agency that assigns homemakers to change schedules on me, starting them later and later. That is another reason I find myself lacking energy at night, because there are days the homemaker doesn’t leave until 5 p.m. After 4 hours of being a watchdog, and after eating dinner, I’m too tired to do much of anything — things I like doing, such as reading other bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have to ask … does the agency not screen the people it hires? Seems like you’ve had more than your share of problems with them! I wish I lived closer … Miss Goose (granddaughter Natasha) and I would come twice a week and help in whatever way we could! Hugs, my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jill,
          The agencies are suppose to screen, train, and conduct background checks. I’ve used 4 agencies. In one, the staff was condescending. I suppose they assume all clients are senile. Out of the 4 agencies, only one did a “home visit” going no further than my dining table. In spite of the “home visit” the agency sent a 76 yr-old with 2 knee replacements who was afraid of walking up and down stairs. My home is 3 stories.

          I’ve been with the current agency since Oct. 2019, and they have yet to do a home visit. When Covid struck, they’ve used that as an excuse to not do a home visit, but yet they send unmasked homemakers to clients’ homes, so go figure.

          Based on my experience, when a client complains, the agency simply sends the homemaker to another client. I had one homemaker who told me 4 clients let her go in less than a year. Well, I eventually found out why, experiencing the same thing that the homemaker gave as reasons she was let go.

          In other words, the agencies continue to assign people who they know have issues doing the work, being respectful, and are trustworthy. They don’t care that they are visiting the same stress on other clients. They are paid by the state, so all they care about are billable hours.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Fun and Health. and commented:
    This is truly amazing! May you keep on encouraging others who be on the same path as you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dreamer9177

    Hang in there. You have more support than you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much. Two medical appointments this week. Monday, I had a lab test for Vitamin D and it turns out I have OD’d on Vitamin D. LOL! I’m off of it for 6 weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dreamer9177

        If you’ve followed my adventures, I’m dealing with COPD since last September.


        • I knew that you’ve been in and out of the hospital, and that you had breathing issues, but I didn’t know your diagnosis. It’s always good to see you, and I hope that medical providers have your meds right so that you can avoid being in the hospital.

          Liked by 1 person

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