Thursday, March 31, 2016


I just looked closely at the penny I found in the bed and it was minted in 1990 -- the year we got married.  Wow....

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Marshall was on a mailing list for an oncologist named Michael Glode and I still get Marshall's emails so I got the latest mailing. Dr. Glode says something about death that I found soooooo interesting. I wish Marshall was still alive to have been able to read this.

Whether you are a religious person or not, you are immortal. The carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus and other atoms that make “you” will never be changed, or if they are, it will be in some sort of nuclear reaction that changes them into another element and involves incredible energy. After all, as Carl Sagan liked to point out, we are all stardust – made (or created if you would rather), from the stuff that happens when stars collapse. Beyond that, I happen to think that the energy you have put back into our universe in the form of words spoken, deeds done, mountains climbed, and so forth are immortal as well. You, or YOU… have made a difference in the cosmos by being alive.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A penny

I have to share this -- when Marshall died, his sister told me that whenever I found a penny it would mean Marshall was nearby. Several times I have found a penny in an unlikely spot. And my sister found a penny that was minted in 1946 (Marshall's year of birth). Well, today was an especially bad day for me so I just decided to take a nap. I pulled the covers back on the bed and there was a penny. Eerie....

If it weren't for bad luck...

You know that old saying, "break a mirror and get 7 years of bad luck?" I must have broken a mirror at some point because so many thing are going wrong: my health -- I now am getting these "electrical jolts" that I assume are related to the pacemaker and I need to see the doctor; two weeks ago the solar energy system for the Westcliffe house had issues and needs a whole new battery system so I wrote a huge check for that; and yesterday the backup generator appears to have died so my wonderful neighbor in Westliffe went over and shut everything down which means there is no power to the house and I guess it will also mean another big check. We are getting to the point where, if I ever sell the house, I will barely break even, or -- worse yet -- I will owe money! All I'm doing is making one wrong decision after another. I shoud have listened to the hospice peope who said don't do anything for at least a year. But no, I ignored all advice.  A'/nyway, please send some good vibes my way.  Nothing is right any more.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Family Visit

Family was here this past week and it was GREAT to have them here.  More and more I'm wondering why I didn't just move back to St. Louis when I decided to move.  Here's a photo: my sister Linda, brother Bob and sister-in-law Liz.

Two families came to see my house and loved the house but hated the rough road you have to take to get to the house.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016


I've been able to unpack a bunch more boxes in this last week, trying not to overdo it.  So when the left arm starts getting sore, I stop and take a nap.  With Coco,  Last week my INR blood number was 1.7 which is too low so this week (tomorrow) I hope it gets back to 2.5 where it's supposed to be.  I'm trying so hard to keep track of my Vitamin K intake.

I took Coco to his followup vet visit today and he had another laser treatment.  I think they are helping him.  She said he is still experiencing pain so I started the prednisone pills today.

I'm having trouble with my vision, so I had an exam this week.  The optometrist said there was nothing he could to improve the vision.  He feels I need to get the other cataract removed and he referred me to an ophthalmologist.  I'll make that appointment soon.

My family gets here this weekend and they are spending about a week.  I'm looking forward to that. I will have to miss my grief support meeting next week but family is much better.

As I'm unpacking I'm coming across some of Marshall's things and have been having what the support group calls "grief spurts."

I heard from Marshall's daughter and she tells me that she has cervical cancer -- or maybe it's pre-cancer -- and she has to have cryotherapy (freezing) done to her cervix.  I'm glad Marshall isn't here for this.  He would not be able to handle this on top of his cancer.

I heard from the real estate agent today and someone is coming to look at my house on Tuesday.  Spring is here and people are house-hunting.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Good news

He said everything looks real good. No surgery right now. We can take a "wait and see" approach. He wants me to start using my left arm again and start an exercise program and then come back in a month to see if things are still doing what they are supposed to be doing.

And once I start exercising regularly he will be able to see if the pacemaker needs any adjustments to fit my lifestyle.

He also said I am doing really well and he sees no need for me to see an electrophysiologist to discuss an ablation surgery at this time.

The "interrogation" of the pacemaker showed that in the past two weeks I had 87 Afib episodes but they were very short episodes (I didn't feel them at all) and he said they were so minor it was nothing to worry about.

I feel like I hit the jackpot today.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Grief support group

I made it to the support group tonight, but it is about an hour's drive away so it won't be easy to attend regularly, since my night vision isn't the greatest, and it was mildly challenging to get there and then get home.

However, it was wonderful.  There were about 20 people there and if I understood correctly, there were another 10 people who usually attend but who had taken off as a group and gone to Mexico.

I was one of six people who were attending for the first time.  And we were sworn to confidentiality -- we are not supposed to repeat anything we hear from others in the meeting.

But I can say that it was absolutely incredible to be able to listen to all the other stories and find out how others are dealing with the same thing I am.  And even though Marshall's hospice people told me I would start healing in about a year, I learned tonight that there are people whose spouse died two or three years ago and they are still grieving.  That was unsettling.  But there were also people there who have been able to move on to some extent after six months.  One guy has been dating extensively.  So it was great and I will do my best to continue to attend.

I didn't participate much tonight.  Every time I tried to tell my story I couldn't stop crying.  So maybe next time.

They have regular dinner get-togethers and they have a fundraiser coming up in May that I already volunteered to attend and help.

One of Marshall's headstones

This is the headstone provided by the VA at no cost to me. I was allowed to design it. I have a traditional headstone ordered as well and they are both in Ohio. When the weather gets nicer we will have a family get-together at the cemetery where the two headstones will be set, as well as a special Vietnam marker.

And we will scatter Marshall's ashes as well. That will mark the end of the things I am doing for Marshall and it will be so emotional.

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This week I went shopping every day. And every day, when I came out of the store I could not find my car. Monday it took me 20 minutes. Tuesday it took 10 minutes. Today i went to Home Depot before my doctor appointment and when I left I needed to hit the alarm button on my key fob in order to pinpoint the car.

So I went to the doctor appointment only to learn that the appointment is tomorrow, not today. This is scary.

But I was able to get the INR checked and it was 1.7 which means I ate too many greens this past week. They didn't change my Warfarin dose but if I don't do better next time they will.

On another note, today I called Pueblo Toyota which is where we bought our pickup truck (and all our other cars) and asked if I could put it on their lot on consignment and our salesman said they would probably just buy it back from me so next week I will probably sell the truck. I love that truck but I do not need two vehicles and two car payments.

Little by little I am moving forward. If I can manage to not forget, I have a grief support meeting tonight.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Trip to Westcliffe

Yesterday Coco and I left early and headed down to Canon City to see Coco's regular vet, Dr. Rose.

Dr. Rose did an examination and determined that Coco does indeed have cervical pain.  She believes it is muscular.  She advised me to go ahead and give him the muscle relaxer and the pain pills, but to hold off on the prednisone for now.  She thought that was a little too much right now.  She also thought that some more of those laser treatments would be a good thing.  So I will make appointments for those.

Then Coco and I went to my house to check it out and we spend the night there.  It is so peaceful and beautiful down there.  I sure miss it.

You should have seen Coco when we got there.  It was like he was seeing a long-lost friend.  He ran around like a little maniac sniffing and checking things out and then he demanded to be let in the house so he could check it out.  It was so cute.

A neighbor came over last night and we had pizza and visited for a while.  And then this morning I met friends Glenn and Terri for breakfast.  Then they came over and cleaned out the garage for me and hauled a huge pile of stuff off to the landfill.  I am so grateful for that.  Things are really falling into place.  Now we just need people to come and look at the house.  I don't ever hear a word from my real estate agent and that's kind of disappointing.  I know the house will be hard to sell but I would expect the agent to check in with me every few weeks just to say hi and assure me that I haven't been forgotten.

Last night I realized that my solar energy's backup generator was coming on when it shouldn't and it seemed to be running constantly.  That's not good.  I called Pat at Solar Solutions and he checked it out and tells me that the batteries are failing and I probably should get new ones.  If I don't get new ones the generator will keep overdoing it and the propane bill will be pretty high.  So today I went to see Pat and gave him a big fat check so he could start the process of replacing all the batteries.  I'm sure I would have to do it when the house sells -- if someone had the house inspected they would surely want the batteries replaced.  I feel very fortunate that I do have the money to do this.  But let's hope there aren't any more problems.

It was weird being in a house without a TV.  I had my iPad, though, and was able to get Hulu so I watched a bunch of episodes of the old Mary Tyler Moore show.  That was fun.

Coco refused to sleep with me.  That has NEVER happened before.  He slept on a rug on the floor all night.  I wonder what that was all about.

I loaded the car up today with more stuff from the house (I think I have it all now) and Coco and I left around 2:30.  We got home tonight around 5:30 and the cats were overjoyed to see us.  And I now have a treadmill.  My friends Tony and Margaret had a brand new one they didn't want so while I was out of town they brought it over and set it up.  Yay.

I have been feeling SO GOOD!  No Afib episodes at all, at least none that I detected.  I've had energy and I've been in a good mood (although the Ativan might have something to do with that).  I finally decided that I needed help so I started taking the Ativan that was prescribed for me last year and it has truly helped.  But I guess the pacemaker is doing its job, too.

That's it for today.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Today my INR was 2.0 which is good but it shouldn't go any lower.  That means I can add a little lettuce to my diet to bring it back up a bit.

After I left the doctor's office, I went shopping for a while, then to Starbucks to get a coffee and do a little reading.  I have been feeling very very good.  I sure hope that means I won't need surgery.

Tomorrow I'm taking Coco down to Canon City to see his regular vet.  Can't wait to see if she thinks he's in pain.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Feeling really good

I don't want to jinx myself but today was another feel-good day.  I went shopping and then stopped at a Starbucks and had coffee and read a book.  No Afib episodes and I feel so good.  I get a little winded if I go up stairs but that is normal.

I got to thinking about Coco and I'm not sure I agree with this new vet that he is in pain.  He doesn't show any signs of pain and even when I touch that area he shows absolutely no signs of pain.  So I called his old vet down in Canon City and I'm going to make the 3-hour drive down there on Friday to have her look at Coco and give me a second opinion.  No need to put him on heavy duty drugs unless we are sure.

And while I'm down there I'll run by my house and make sure all is well.  Plus I still have a few things to pick up.

Now, under the category of "you just can't make this stuff up," when I was coming home from Starbucks today the car in front of me slammed on his brakes so I slammed on my brakes and stopped just in time.  However, the guy behind me didn't stop in time and he whammed into me and the car behind him slammed into him pushing him into my car a second time.  Thank goodness I had my seatbelt on.

So we all got out of our cars and my car had absolutely no damage whatsoever.  The other two guys weren't as lucky.  I guess my Highlander is made of strong stuff.  Thank God Coco wasn't with me.

Tomorrow I go for my next INR blood test.  And next Wednesday night I go to my first Grief Support Group meeting.