My Cat Thinks She’s a Dog With a Tapeworm

We have a little black cat that is so sweet, but as she has aged her personality has gone from sweet little thing to an evil little thing.

The other cats give her a wide berth. If they get too close, she snaps her paw with the skill of a praying mantis. One look from her is enough to let the others know when they are approaching her personal universe.

She has recently been diagnosed with kidney disease and is on a special diet. I have now become her minion and she expects to be fed at will. She follows me around like a little dog. I feed her, she eats a tiny bit then walks away.  The reason I continuously feed her is because I’m trying to keep her weight at a healthy level…she was getting far too thin. If she is not fed, she sits at my feet and gives me the stink eye. A serious stink eye.

I’ll bet you’re asking “why not leave the bowl down”….well, I have another cat on a special diet that is not the same diet, and we have a relatively normal cat who has no medical issues so she is on another diet. We also have one big dog who acts as if cat food is crack.

You may also be asking, “why don’t I just put her in another room, away from all the others so that she can eat and go on with her day”. Because, well, she is part of the family. As much as I would like to be shut up in my room all day, I’m pretty sure I would hear a bunch of pitiful cries to be released from the room. I think that would bother me more than having a catdog.

Why do I write about this? Because that little black cat is making me crazy with her constant demands of my attention. Aren’t cats supposed to sleep all day? Since when does a cat follow their human everywhere they go? Why can’t she eat like the others and go to sleep all day?

….sigh I love her, and I will continue to be her frustrated minion.



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Five Hundred Images

lots of repetition from older posts–just had to write about it again to remind myself

I have been told I’m cured of cancer, but have also been told that the 5-year-rule doesn’t necessarily apply to lung cancer. So…..every time I fall or get dizzy I assume it’s metastatic cancer gone to my brain. Every time I have trouble breathing, I assume it’s come back. Any ache in any part of my body most surely is metastatic lung cancer. Every cough….well, you get the gist….I believe I’m a walking petri dish waiting for something to develop. (It has taken years of therapy to manage this anxiety but I’m finding fear trumps sense most times)

Some may remember, six months ago I was miffed at the radiologist, or the imaging center, for losing my scan. I sat for two hours in a little room at my oncologists office waiting for words I had desperately wanted to hear. I received a two paragraph response within 5 minutes of finding my scan. How can a radiologist read a scan that quickly?

Anyway, most of us probably know of the mega-conglomerate-medical-groups. We’re sold on the fact that we can go to any doctor in their system and they have access to all our health records. We can even go online and look up most, but not all medical information. You know, some of it’s too much for our little ol’ brains to comprehend so they don’t share all information.

My oncologist works for one conglomerate and I have been getting my scans at the competing conglomerate. She assured me the conglomerations communicate with each other. Ha!

I have to reiterate that you must be your own health advocate.


I will never forget what it felt like to recover from the easy Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS), not the kind where they split ribs, but painful just the same. Every time I do something while I huff and puff, I’m reminded that I no longer have the lung capacity I used to have–add to that, I have asthma–add to that, I’m out of shape–my fault. :D

I became a little lackadaisical in my quest to keep my doctors accountable and on their toes, and was left with six more months of the scanxiety hell.

I’m having my next scan at the conglomeration my oncologist is affiliated with. I armed myself with my stack of cds full of previous scans, including the last one with the two paragraph report. You can imagine my shock when the records lady told me that my last ct scan had 500 images and that it would take a while to copy onto a cd.

Five hundred images! Did they even look at the images of my spleen, liver, and right lung? The areas which we were watching? I don’t know. I wasn’t able to hover over the radiologist to make sure they did their job. All I could do is tell my oncologist that I had lost all confidence. All the mental therapy I have had has only made my anxiety marginally tolerable this time.

I’m thinking this is all due to one person not fully doing their job (in my opinion).

Again, make sure you are your own advocate—and quit smoking. :D


Posted in That Thing Called Cancer | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Cat Humiliation

Ha! I believed that I would sit and plan out blog posts and set a schedule. However, I feel I will just post what I feel the need to write.

I’m a cat person. You know, the crazy cat lady. I like dogs too, but cat love is a little bigger than dog love. Dogs are so high maintenance and I love to humiliate them by taking photos with hats on them.

Alas, one of my cats has been humiliated at my expense.

He had to have his teeth cleaned, and one pulled. He has such floofy hair, it mats really bad. I asked the veterinarian technician if they could shave him while he was in la-la-land…..and they did.

….and here’s the result…

MaverickI think I’m going to have to knit a sweater for him.

Have a great Monday!

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If Today Was Your Last Day

I’m rapidly approaching another date with the donut machine (CT scan). I should really be on a yearly schedule by now but I’m still on an every 6th month schedule. Unfortunately, one of them always happens right before Christmas—I’m going to ask if I can tweak the schedule for the next year.

Anyway, as I was going about my business today, a song by Nickelback titled, If Today Was Your Last Day, played through my mind.

If today was my last day would I still be in my jammies at 11:00 in the morning? Would I change those litter pans again? Would I catch up on the ironing? Would I clean the toilets?

Other than the jammie thing, the answers would be no….if I knew today was my last day. But I don’t know, do I?

I would like to live as if today was my last day and enjoy each and every second, but there are moments we have to do what we have to do and some of them are mundane and not so pleasant. Why do my days seem to be centered around crap containers?

Anyway….I’m seeing a side of myself I don’t believe I’ve been paying attention to. A good person with troubled thoughts at times.

I need a bit of time to gather my thoughts. I know my blog is full of random topics, but I think I need to change some things, because the positive side of me is much larger than the dark things I write about. Both make me a whole person but I have more good than bad now.

If today was my last day, I want the words I leave behind to be different from the ones I have so far. I’ve made some poor choices during periods of untreated depression and have to live with the consequences, but I don’t want to whine about them—the whining holds me back. I’m learning how to like myself after decades of hating myself. That was then, this is now. I have an illness, the illness does not have me. (how’s that for a few cliches?)

I will be reading as I regroup.

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Moving Along In Spite of Staying In The Same Spot

For me, keeping my mind on thoughts of the past is what drags me down. I suppose it drags anyone down who insist on dwelling in the past.

Many years ago I learned how to stop my negative thinking. It became a choice. Sometimes I let myself wallow in it and sometimes I tell myself to stop and think of the present.

I still struggle with the self-hate that comes with dwelling in my negative past. I feel it is the root of my struggle with depression. However, I logically know I cannot do anything about changing my past.

Not sure why I feel the need to write this, but another past friend bites the dust. The one I treated with little respect but went out of my way to support when losses occurred in their life. It’s been bothering me for months to have to let go, but let go I must. I believe I was written off long ago but was too ignorant to see it. How can a friend be in your area and not stop by for coffee? How can a friend rub in your face that they have a bff for life while completely ignoring you? (Facebook really stinks)

I hear loud and clear now, and I must move along and make new friends. As much as I would love to be part of a gaggle of friends who are close for life, it will never be that way for me. I have a couple of close friends and that’s okay.

So, goodbye to another little piece of my past. I need to do this to make room for today. I can no longer stay in the same spot. It’s starting to get a little smelly.

**I have clung to a few bad relationships with judgemental hypocrites, narcissists, and bullies. I have finally let the *friendship of the last one go.

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Er, a check in? gah! I have no title

Well, hello!

Yes, I’m still here and doing well.

I’ve been keeping my mind occupied/busy doing things.

I have convinced myself I have many health maladies that, when I’m sensible, I get to giggling. I’m thankful I can laugh at myself at this point

This is what I’m doing, as well as reading a couple of books….

porch1The huge pile is what I’m doing with that yarn hoard. I call it the ugly blanket but it is called the mindless knitting blanket….or scrapghan. Yes, I’ve made one before from scraps in the past. My new motto…I control the yarn, the yarn does not control me. :)

I’m also knitting some Christmas presents I can’t share at the moment. I can tell you that one of them has driven my need for perfection to its limits. I’m not sharing how many times I started over. Most “normal” people would have given up.


I also stained the little table I made, and have painted and painted a room that the Wee One painted in dark blue….ceiling included. Working on Son One to move the rest of his crap out of the basement…he has been gone a year now. Son Two is moving back home and needs to set up his residence in the basement. Yes! We will have vampires in the basement again! Yay! Seriously, I’m happy about it.

I just have to say that I am thankful.

Posted in Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

The Pill Pusher

She pulls off the main road into the compound and is immediately transported to the 1970’s. Another world, hidden from the chaos outside. As April winds her way up the hill to the parking lot she begins to think that zen-type music should be playing. You know, with a citar and the gentle sound of chimes.

Passing the day hospital, she wonders what they do there. Is it for experiments on the mentally ill? She avoids looking at the sprawl of the psychiatric hospital to the left–the scar on the beauty of the compound. The place nobody wishes their worst enemy would have to visit.

With a hurried step, she walks across the bridge leading to the office building. She’s in awe at the splattered colors of Autumn on the bridge. She’s late–so unlike her–the one who sometimes arrives an hour early–just in case. She admonishes herself for insisting on finishing just one more row of one of her knitting projects.

Opening the door to the reception area of the Pill Pusher (aka the psychiatrist), she is again transported to a different decade. The 70’s furniture and lamps, all a reflection of days long gone. Unfortunately for April, it creates more inner reflection of where her troubles began.

The hunched over Pill Pusher is never on time, and today was no exception. He finally opened the door and escorted her to his office. The office has nice comfy chairs but she notices the dust around the office must also be from the 70’s as well.

He begins telling her of his recent travel to Washington – the state – because he remembers she’s from the Seattle area. Patiently, she listens but her mind is not hearing what he’s saying because she wants to whine and get the hell out of there.

There is one little pill which is causing her grief. The thing is almost microscopic and if accidently dropped on the floor, it’s impossible to find. The pill packs a punch, helping April further accept who she is and how to live in spite of anxiety and clinical depression. However there are side effects that create a cycle of self-loathing. It raises her blood sugar, A1C, and causes weight gain.

She begs to taper off the little pill because she feels stronger now. The side effects of the tiny pill are making some of her recovery more difficult. The side effects are far outweighing any benefit.

As she whines about the weight gain, the Pill Pusher asks…”has your husband complained about your weight?” Holy crap, she thinks, is he not hearing what she is saying? The more weight she puts on the more she beats herself up. She is not happy with herself.

…..and another pill is removed from the cocktail, after a tapering off period. She will continue recovering and reminds herself of all she has learned about herself.

For the record, if one more torturer tells her she must exercise, she is going to blow her stack. She knows that is the answer to her poor self image, and that exercise would be a huge benefit. She believes it’s the one hurdle left as she drives home with 70’s rock music playing on the radio….feeling a bit victorious.

Posted in Anxeity and Depression, Depression | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I am long overdue to log some gratitude. The following made me smile:

  • my Darth Vader respirator
  • my patience—or procrastination (too-may-tow, tah-mah-tow)
  • our daughter has already found a job in a skilled nursing facility
  • white chocolate M&Ms—oh. my.
  • the colors of Autumn
  • cooler weather and lack of humidity
  • music – any and all – except Metal
  • the bug man—we have been seeing scorpions in the house
  • wondering when said bug man is going to lose all his teeth–I’m sorry that one wasn’t nice, but I swear each time he comes, speaking his twangy redneck language with one more tooth missing, it makes me giggle–shame on me
  • one of my cats has kidney disease and luckily we can keep her feeling good with diet and subcutaneous fluids
  • lidocaine patches — for me

I have been keeping myself busy and will post photos of some of what I’ve been up to—but I have some pressing matters to finish first–like keeping a wet edge. I have been painting walls……lots of walls…and ceilings. I am knitting an ugly blanket with my yarn stash, knitting a pair of socks, making Christmas tree ornaments with real felt (not the cheap stuff from the craft store), and little cross stitched square ornaments.

I have had a vast amount of time to think.

About food.

About why I can’t get ahold of my eating habits. How weird is it to obsessively worry about having a recurrence of cancer in just about every part of my body, but not do one thing toward getting my body healthy? I make declarations all the time that “this time I’m going to stick to it”.  To remind myself…..I am an emotional eater. I want to remember that. I must remember it every time I grab something to eat when I’m not hungry. I also need to snack on healthier foods instead of starving myself…….then I get hangry and will eat just about anything, and nobody better get in my way.

Exercise is another issue. Sure my fingers get worked out every day, but I know in order to be mobile well into my 90s, I must take better care of my body—but I make excuses. Why?

Why do I want something so bad but don’t move toward obtaining it? Fear? No. Laziness? No. Defiance? Instant gratification vs. the big picture? Self-hate?

Anyway, that is what my mind is working through at the moment.

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A Poem by April for Thursday’s Thingies

Get ready……

My things I like to scatter




Do I really mind

For it is I

Who searches through the matter

I’m having a bit of organizational issues at the moment—guess what? I don’t care! It’s not bothering me and making me anxious—-more progress!

Posted in Thursday's Thingies | Tagged | 17 Comments

Where Do We Go From Here?

Oh, I don’t want to talk about depression again, but I’m going to.

The recent school shooting in Oregon brought up the ‘mental illness’ topic again and it triggered some observations I have about depression.

I’m reading the book, Lincoln’s Melancholy, by Joshua Wolf Shenk. In the book, someone wrote about their observations of Lincoln. I’m sorry, I can’t remember who, nor could I find the sentence again in order to quote the correct person. I simply wrote down this line while I was reading.

“Many personal crises stripped from him nearly every layer of his fragile identity”.

When I suffered my last bout of depression, that’s what it felt like…being stripped of my identity. As if I were an onion, and each crisis peeled away a layer until all that was left were the tears.

What I can’t wrap my head around is what creates psychosis? The kind of person who performs mass killings—why do they cross the line? Why does the media report that we need to have the conversation about mental illness, but their contribution is always about the psychotic who act out in ways most cannot fathom.

We need to have the conversation about mental illness so that those who need help know where to seek it and can afford treatment whether it is therapy, medication, or both. Not a single sufferer should be embarrassed to ask for help. I spent a portion of my life not seeking help for fear that my boss would find out.

One other thing….gun control. I probably wouldn’t be able to purchase a gun because I’m currently being treated for depression/anxiety. However, I also know how to lie. I don’t do it much, but I know how to avoid truthfully answering certain questions which would red flag me. If there are politicians pushing for further background checks, how would they go about this without violating HIPAA laws?

We need to have the conversation about mental illness and it should include the millions who suffer in silence because they are fearful of being discovered.

Meh….just the thoughts I have tumbling around my mind. I’m not depressed but I’m always curious.

Posted in Depression | Tagged | 19 Comments