Showing posts from September, 2007

Trial Separation

No, I’m not talking about my hubby and me.

I’m heading out of town this weekend for a Pennwriters board of directors meeting. I will leave early (REALLY early) Saturday morning and return home late Sunday morning or early afternoon.

Skye will be staying home with hubby. This will be the first time I’ll be away for more than a few hours since Skye came to live with us a month ago and I’m not sure how she’s going to react. Especially, the staying home with hubby part.

She and my husband haven’t exactly bonded yet. He has tried. Perhaps too hard. I think that’s the problem. That plus the fact that he accidentally tripped over her in the middle of the night. She firmly believes he kicked her. Intentionally. Now, he comes home and if she acknowledges his presence at all, it’s to fix him with a withering stare.

I’ve been trying to mediate a truce. I’ve been coaching him on how to casually stroke her ONCE and then walk away before she bolts from his touch. She needs to learn that while he may…

Updates-September 25, 2007

After a rough couple of weeks, the results are all in.

My biopsy came back negative…NO CANCER.

Skye, while negative for cancer, is a very strong positive for Bartonella. I’m still learning about this nasty little infection, but I’ll take it over oral cancer again in a heartbeat.

Mom had a check-up this morning with the surgeon. Her hip is healing well, but slowly. She’s stuck in that dreaded brace of hers for another four weeks. If she can go that long without dislocating, we’ll be in good shape and we can beef up the rehab. For now, it’s more of the same: hanging out in the Health Center with light physical therapy.

I’m thrilled that the x-rays look so promising. Of course, he didn’t tell her she could lose the brace and go dancing tonight, so Mom is less than happy.

Enough of this medical and veterinary stuff. Now I need to free up some time on my calendar and get back to writing!

The Bliss of Cantering

It has been years since I cantered a horse. Then a few months ago, one of my Sisters in Crime pulled me aside to tell me she’d just learned to canter. Her face lit up as she spoke, relating how much fun it was.

I remember loping through the pasture on old Jenny who was like riding an over-stuffed sofa. And one of my favorite movie scenes is from DANCES WITH WOLVES when Kevin Costner’s character attempts suicide early on by cantering his horse between the two warring sides. He dropped the reins, closed his eyes, and opened his arms to fate.

Ah, freedom. I can feel that sense of sweet surrender every time I watch that movie.

I’ve been back in the saddle on a fairly regular basis all summer since my friend and neighbor, Sara, issued an open invitation to ride with her whenever I want. So why haven’t I cantered yet?

Fear, basically. I’ve never been one with a personal need for speed. I enjoy watching horse racing, auto racing, just about all kinds of racing. But I’m always rushing around h…

One down, one to go

The answer to the question I asked at the end of yesterday’s post came about five minutes after I hit the “Publish” button. My vet’s office called (not the actual vet who is always the one to break bad news) to inform me that Skye’s biopsy results showed no signs of malignancy.


So one good report down, one more to go.

Why You Should Never Ask Certain Questions

I’ve always said don’t ever ask what else could go wrong? Or say that things can’t get any worse. The universe has a way of laughing in your face. And, honest, I didn’t say either of those things. The cliché I mistakenly toyed with was that which does not kill us serves to make us stronger.Why the hell do I need to be that strong? I cried out to the heavens.

Okay, add that one to my list of things one should never ask.

During my annual mammogram yesterday, they found “something.” When I went back this morning for a biopsy, they gave that “something” a name. They called it a nodule.

The last nodule I had grew into a monster uterine fibroid that had to be surgically removed six years ago. But I’m not getting into that.

I saw two different doctors and both agree that most likely this nodule thing is nothing. One went so far as to say she was 100 percent certain. She must have seen the look on my face as I prepared to ask: What the hell am I doing here, then? Because she back-peddled and we s…

Deja Vu

Two days ago I took Skye back to the vet for her dental. I admit, considering the result of the last dental I had done on a cat, I was a little apprehensive. But I knew that Skye had severe gingivitis and needed the work done, so off we went.

A few hours later, Dr. Marshal called me on my cell phone to tell me they had found a tumor under Skye’s tongue.

My head reeled. This had to be a bad nightmare. I must be hallucinating.

I wasn’t. Here we go again. Déjà vu.

He took a biopsy, which has been sent off to the lab. He also drew blood to test for Bartonella’s as we’d discussed at our previous visit. Results for both are pending. And after a brief bout of hysteria and tears, I am now settled into a blissful state of denial. I refuse to think about things like squamous cell carcinoma and chemo and pain meds until I absolutely have to. After all, Skye is young. These cancers usually hit older cats. It could very likely just be a benign mass. However, I fully expect the Bartonella test to co…

Time to Write

With everything going on in my life these days, there has been one aspect that has fallen by the wayside. WRITING. Other than blog posts, I haven’t written a word since Mom’s surgery a month ago. I’ve been feeling the ache from deep in my psyche for the last week or so, but I just haven’t managed to steal any time to do anything about it.

Then Victoria Thompson, who is guest blogging today over at Working Stiffs (I’ll be there on Wednesday), hit on this very subject.

Time to write.

It’s a topic that comes up anytime a group of writers get together. Especially aspiring writers. When you have a contract and a deadline looming, you MAKE the time to write. Time is money, as they say. But for those who WANT to write, but haven’t figured out a way to make that happen yet, it can be daunting to squeeze out a few more hours in the day.

I’m fortunate to have a supportive husband. I’m also fortunate that my “day job” takes place in the evening and only TWO evenings a week at that. But there has…

You know you're too busy when...

Last night, hubby called from work to say, “Guess what? I’m on vacation tomorrow and Friday.” And sure enough, there is was on the calendar.

You know you’re too busy when you forget about having vacation days.

We have to turn in hubby’s vacation request form in January. On one hand, it’s nice to dream about vacation days when you’re knee deep in snow. On the other hand, it’s darned hard to be realistic about what you plan on doing eight or nine months down the road. Let’s face it, if I’d have know back then what all was about to transpire in 2007…well, I’m not sure what I’d have done. Crawling under a rock wouldn’t have changed anything. There was just no escaping it.

Anyhow, I have no idea what we were thinking about, what plans we imagined when we selected September 13 and 14 as vacation days.

As of yesterday, Mom is back at the Washington County Health Center. And as of yesterday, I have a cold. So the idea of a vacation sounds good, but I’m not sure about the reality of it. Perhaps…

More Than I Ever Wanted to Know

As a writer, research is a big part of my life. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Very often, life experience brings me a certain level of expertise that I’d rather not have. Because of my dad, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about cardiovascular disease, dementia, and the extreme amounts of paperwork involved in the medical assistance process.

My cousin has given me a look at brain injury and its after-effects.

I am now an expert on squamous cell carcinoma and administering medications to cats courtesy of my dear, sweet Sammie.

Now, I know a lot more terminology about hip surgery than I ever cared to learn. For instance, we all know about hip replacement surgery. But did you know that when a hip replacement is replaced, it’s called a hip revision? I learned that a few weeks ago when my mom had one. Now I also know that the procedure to put a dislocated hip back in is called a reduction. When done without cutting, it’s a closed reduction. If surgery is required, it’s an…

Nothing's Ever Easy

I’ve spent the last two days in veterinarians’ and doctors’ offices hearing not the greatest news. Nothing horrible or life-threatening, mind you. Just not the “all’s right with the world” news that one always hopes for.

Yesterday morning, I took Skye for her first post-adoption vet check-up. It seems her gums are terribly inflamed and she’s missing a few of her little front teeth. So I’ve scheduled a full dental cleaning and exam for her. Hopefully that clears it up. Otherwise, the doc wants to do bloodwork to check for something called Bartonella, which I’d never heard of before. The good news is that it’s treatable with some heavy duty antibiotics. Hey, after what I went through with Sammie’s mouth, I’ll happily do whatever it takes. At least it IS treatable.

And Little Miss Skye was a perfect angel at the vets. Didn’t even protest when the tech trimmed her nails.

Now for the other less-than-good news. My mom had her post-op check-up this morning and x-rays show that her hip has di…

A Sympathetic Villain?

I'm blogging today over at Working Stiffs and we've got what I think is a pretty interesting discussion going regarding a local news story involving a guy who was a friend of mine back in high school. Come on over and join in the conversation.

Ahhh, sleep!

After being on a 36 hour buzz, Skye kitty has finally demonstrated that she is indeed a cat. She does sleep. And she has begun to let us sleep, too.

Night two with the new family member found me so beat that I slept for a solid eight hours. I don’t know if Skye quieted down or if I was so exhausted that I tuned her out. Probably a little of both.
Yesterday, she finally crashed and snoozed most of the day. Which meant she was wide awake most of last night. And, yes, she talked. But she didn’t really keep me awake. I did jump up at one point when I heard a crash. However, I have yet to find the source of the crash. Skye gave me the innocent “I didn’t do it” look and nothing seems out of place. Oh, well.

She finally quieted down when I invited her to join us in bed. She spent the pre-dawn hours snuggled between my husband and me.

She’s still a very busy girl when she’s awake, always looking for something to get into. Or out of. Yesterday, she decided that she wanted to go outside. She was…

A New Family Member

As I mentioned last week, we now have a new member of our family. I brought Skye home from Pets Mart yesterday and it’s been an interesting day (and night).

Skye is three years old. I didn’t want a kitten for so many reasons. Basically, I’m not in a place mentally or physically to deal with the demands of a kitten. However, it’s been a long time since I had a young cat in the house, be it three months or three years old. Fluffy was 18 when she passed a couple of years ago. Sammie was 14, but had been dealing with arthritis and hip dysplasia for years, so she wasn’t especially active.

Can’t say the same for Skye.

I always thought Sammie was quite the little chatterbox. HA! Skye began to talk to me in the crate in the car on the way home and has not stopped. All night, she hasn’t stopped.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Meet Skye. She’s a small gray and orange torte who had been in the shelter since March after being abandoned by her former family. She has allergies and is on special foo…