Sunday, May 19, 2013


Really? Really? Haven't I been through enough in the past year and a half? The first - and worst - that happened was that Dan was diagnosed with cancer. He went into remission a year ago April and we had a not-too-bad summer. Then, in the fall, I started having problems with my "lady parts" and had tests for uterine cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. I sweated through the results, which all turned out to be negative. I ended up having surgery and thought all was well.
I started having abdominal/pelvic pain and nausea around Christmas time but didn't tell anyone. Then, at the end of January Dan went instantly and profoundly deaf. Shortly afterward, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
As regular readers know, Dan's condition deteriorated swiftly. He was put under hospice care and passed away on March 23.
What I hadn't written in my blog is that I was having a terrible time at work and suffered extreme emotional distress over it.
Finally, the work problems got better about the end of April. Although I was fighting all kinds of red tape to try to get Dan's Social Security and other monthly income transferred to me, I was slowly recovering from his death.  I took time to go to my family doctor for my tummy problems and after a CT scan it was determined that I had a hernia - caused by my prior surgery.
I make an appointment to see a surgeon. He's a great guy - I like him and trust him and we decide I should have surgery May 17.  Okay, fine, just another thing to get through. I booked two weeks off at work and arranged for Gracie's care during my overnight stay.
So there I was Friday morning. My sister had picked me up at o'dark thirty. I had been poked for labs and was sitting in my (not) pretty hospital gown, already getting fluids via IV. That's when the bomb dropped. They said they had to cancel the surgery because my blood platelets were so low. My surgeon admitted me to the hospital and called in a medical doctor to run a bunch of tests.
Your blood platelet count should be no lower than 150,000. Mine was at 49,000. The doctors were concerned that my count had fallen so low so quickly because they were at low normal when I saw my doctor in April.
They took enough blood to satisfy a vampire for six months. They decided I didn't need to sit around in the hospital waiting for results so they sent me home at 5:00. I will be seeing a hematologist in about a week.
There could be a lot of reasons for low blood platelets - or the official term, thrombocytopenia. It could be as simple and fixable as a vitamin deficiency. Or, it could be worse. So here I sit, playing the waiting game yet again.
Really? Really? Haven't I been though enough lately?

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Congratulations to my cousin, Kevin (white shirt,) and his husband, Will (behind him to the right) on the marriage equality bill being signed in Minnesota.
Kevin and Will have been through a civil ceremony in Iowa and a religious (Lutheran) ceremony in Minnesota, and they say two ceremonies are enough, but congratulations to all the other gay Minnesotans who can now marry and have equal rights under the law with any other couple.
A comment posted on Kevin's Facebook page:

Christopher Hoven: And if Hubert H. Humphrey were alive today, he'd probably say, "My fellow Minnesotans, today we have stepped out of the dark shadows of state's rights and have walked into the bright sunshine of human rights, of civil rights!"
I have power over comments and will not allow any gay-bashing ones on this post. It's time to come out of the Dark Ages, people. Please don't tell me God loves the sinners but hates the sin. God doesn't think homosexuality is a sin. And guess what, that guy in the red and white striped shirt? He's a pastor. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Charles Courtney Curran
Happy Mother's Day to all who celebrate it on this day. Happy Mother's Day especially to my sister, Glori, and to my sisters-in-law who read my blog, Bonny in Idaho and Dana in Virginia. Also Happy Mother's Day to my Mom in heaven.
I was dreading Mother's Day this year, because it is the first Mother's Day without Dan. Of course, Mother's Day is for children to honor their mothers, but Dan always got me a present too. The very first time, I was still pregnant, 7 months along. He gave me a floral arrangement in a blue, white and green large ceramic cup. A month later our home was destroyed by a fire, but I still have that cup, because I had had it at work. It was among the first things I brought into our new home.
For the past 25 years or more, Dan had bought me a hanging fuchsia basket to hang on the deck. It has become a family tradition. I was sad this year that I wouldn't be getting a fuchsia.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I got home from work Friday afternoon and there was a giant fuchsia-and-white colored fuchsia on my dining room table. When Kristen was home for Dan's funeral she had given Glori the money to get me one for Mother's Day. Talk about a thoughtful daughter!
Of course, my best Mother's Day present has always been Kristen. I had trouble with carrying babies and lost two before her and two after her. She was the only little soul to survive to birth.
And I am so glad she was the one. She's always been such a good kid. I remember one time when she was little the house got very quiet and I decided I'd better go see what she was doing. I found her sitting on the kitchen counter, the lid off the sugar canister and mountains of sugar all over the counter. I didn't get mad - I was too shocked.
In that way, she was very unlike her dad when he was growing up. His mom, Lillian, told the story of how she was always having to tell his older brothers to "Go find Danny and tell him to stop it."
Kristen, you are so smart, funny, sensitive and caring. You're so beautiful too - and your beauty is on the inside as well as the outside. Thank you for being my daughter.
As for myself, I continue to recover from Dan's illness and death. Work is going much better now, but I am still trying to fight with pension fund holders and oil well companies to get the income Dan was receiving each month. One happy surprise was how easy and pleasant it was to set the wheels in motion to get his Social Security.
Another pleasant surprise was how swiftly the life insurance was handled by the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System. Now that I have insurance, I am busy arranging for a new roof and a new deck, without which I will never be able to sell the house, should I ever decide to sell.
And also, I am getting a new front door. The door we have is original to our 1929 stucco bungalow, and the inside door knob fell off so many times we started using a needle-nose pliers to open the door (Necessity is the Mother of Invention). My brother-in-law, Dick, had been worried for my safety so Dick, you will be glad to know, yes, I have set up an appointment for someone to come by and measure for a new door.
Glori and I treated ourselves to a modest Mother's Day lunch at Fried's German Restaurant in Mandan yesterday. We were happy to note that the forsythia is in bloom, and I saw a few yellow tulips, though most were still only in bud.
The painting above is featured in a gift book called "My Wish For You". The wish that accompanies this painting is "Many Lovely Evenings". I wish many lovely evenings for all of you this summer.