2021 - A year of hope

Ok 2020 was a total Shit show....

Lets see what 2021 can do

They first detected low grade cancer cells in 1998. At that time I did not have insurance, so surgery was needed but not an option.
Then by 2003 I had insurance, but with the day care bussiness, surgery was still not an option. I could not inconvience all the parents with my medical needs. Accordning to the doctors it was "slow growing" so we could just watch it.
It did not change over the years that followed. Every year it was detected, biopsied and put off.
Then in December 2019 the doctors watching it became concered with some of the changes it was doing. But again, it had to wait because of the world wide pandemic of Covid-19.
December 2, 2021 there was no choice, it had to come out. It had to be delt with. I now had a confident agressive doctor , that was going to make this happen. He aid 23 years of watching a cancer grow is ridiculous. However the surgery could not be done down here, I had to travel to San Jose to get it. I can do that!
December 9th, surgery is scheduled for December 22nd. December 15th Lab work completed for surgery.December 20th Covid test done so I can be cleared for surgery.
December 22nd, surgery day!We have to be there by 6am, so we left Salinas at 4:30am. Got to Silicon Valley Surgery Center at 5:45. Went into the center at 5:50am.
They did not let Chris stay at all because of covid. The staff though, were amazing and I felt cared for every second, I was scared, but the worst was all in my mind.
The staff did so much to calm me. I was afraid because I thought I would feel alone. I was afraid of not knowing what I should be doing, I was afraid of looking stupid, I was afraid the staff would be mad at me for not knowing. I was afraid of being treated like a piece of human flesh. At the counter the check in person explained everything being very patient explaining everything, guiding me through each form. This helped my fear a lot. I could see a nurse hovering behind her, she had on a pretty flowered surgical cap, I would later meet this nice lady, named Patti. Patti was my care nurse she came up to me after registration, sat by me in the waiting area, and I felt at ease. She took me to the back, she was soft spoken, reassuring flooding me with kindness. I saw her throughout the morning, always feeling safe in her presence. She helped me change into a gown. put anti clot bands on my legs, told me I need to wear them 15 hours a day the next 5 days. I could feel her smiling behind her mask. She covered me with warmed blankets always giving me dignity helping me feel cared for as a person. She put what looked like a drier vent hose into the blankets to keep me warm. I was in heaven! The warm air calmed me so much I thought I would fall asleep. The next nurse had a Russian accent she was amazing. She had a quiet, strong, confident demeanor. We talked about the surgery, I told her some about the journey it took to get here. I told her I had been a day care provider, how I could not take off work for this, even though I needed it for the last 23 years. She made me feel respected for my past job, saying kids make her nervous, and I am a hero for being able to take care of them. That made me feel like I had worth. She talked about the IV, I told her I never had one before, so she explained every step. She got the IV started, it was perfect, did not hurt at all. Then she saw a little blood under the cover, I loved how OCD she was, she did not want that there, so she removed the cover cleaned the area and put a fresh cover on with the comment “Now that looks pretty”. She was funny, I liked that. I wish I remembered her name; she was skilled, I felt safe in her care. Two days later not even a bruise or a hole left as evidence in my hand. She was funny and kind and gentle. Then the nurse took my BP, she was confident it would not hurt my arm as it was a bigger cuff, yep still did and the BP would not register. She got a smaller one and took the BP on my lower arm, still a little high 178/80, but she said no worries you’re getting anesthesia and it will bring it down. Again her spin gave me reissuance. Patti came back with papers to sign. She had me sign many more forms of consent, she was laughing at the questions with me, some were just silly. It made it not feel so scary. We even joked when I signed away my right to my parts, the hospital will dispose of them, after biopsy. I asked if I could keep them, she asked why? With a giggle. I said I always wanted parts in a jar. we laughed, the answer is no. She asked me about Chris, and what I would do when I got home, I told her about my dog Chloe, she showed me a picture of her dog a black lab. It was nice. Then the two surgical RN’s came in. One was my age the other one young, and obviously learning from her mentor. Both were thoughtful, I could feel the knowledge they held. They explained every moment that was to come. Knowing the little stuff took the fright out of this. They would be by my side the rest of the morning. The Anesthesiologist came in, he had called me last night and chatted about what was going to happen. I already liked him. He was very calm and gentle and nice. He had on masks, it was more than one and made me smile. The thing that caught my eye most was the most beautiful sapphire blue turban he was wearing. The color was stunning, and the fabric gleamed, it made me tranquil. He told me what he was going to do and tested my neck flexibility. He smiled and said see you in there. I trust him. Dr Lilja came in to say hi and ask if I was ready, he called me champ and that made me feel strong. I liked all the staff was happy and working well as a team. They seemed to even like each other. By 7:30 they were ready to roll! I was prepped. I was covered and warm. They took me to the operating room on the bed and talked to me about Great America. They seemed to care about me as a person, and that made a huge difference. I was so afraid of being cold and laying out the naked and exposed. I was afraid of being man handled and shamed, and that did not happen. In the operating room, there were bright white frosted widows all around the room. The sky was grey from the storms outside, but the windows felt bright. The top quarter was clear, and I could see trees, that was so serene. I was not fearful. There was a male Nurse getting things arranged on a table at the side of the room. He greeted me as I rolled in, then laughed at my joke about him getting his “instruments of torture” ready. His laugh made me smile. The RNs were still by my side. I could feel their compassion. I felt shielded from all harm in their care. They helped me slide onto the operating table, then my fear jumped in, I was here! My biggest fear flooding my mind. It made me catch my breath, I was on the operating table! Now is when it happens, the thing they have not spoken of, I was still covered but my mind raced to my fear center. I was going to be stripped down naked, spread eagle on the table, positioned, scrubbed, left cold and waiting. That did not happen. I was covered, made comfortable, touched softly, spoken to gently always with someone’s hand on me to reassure. Dr Lilja came in with his happy positive attitude, and I knew I was ok. The Anesthesiologist put an Oxygen mask on me, and I was asleep, wow I did not see that coming! I woke up to Patti. She was talking softly, asking me questions, and coaxing me from my slumber. I remember looking at the clock thinking it was 9:15 and I had to get up, as Chris had been in the car now alone 3 hours, I felt bad for that. I told Patti my concern, she told me not to worry, she had checked on him, he was fine . She told me Doctor Lilja had talked to him, so Chris knew what to do. I was encouraged to rest and let my body come back slowly. I was reassured, everyone was ok. I was feeling more alert by 9:30. She asked me about pain, there was very little. She thought it best to give me another pain shot for the ride home. Then she took out the IV, helped me get dressed, slowly got me ready sitting up to the side of the bed, always supporting me. It was time to go home! I was so happy; I had been so afraid. This was not at all what I had envisioned. My first surgery and I have to say, it was a good experience. Two days after, no pain, no blood, healing well, feeling stronger and well. Paul and Eileen have come to visit me in the days that followed. Eileen even brought me a stuffy in the shape of the parts they took out. It made me laugh and smile, it was perfect. I know Paul was worried, I think he is feeling better now, knowing I had good care. After coming by plane from Washington, they took a covd test to be sure they are safe. James and Cherie sent us food and flowers and have talked to us via text and phone. It was nice. I feel cared for.Marsha sent me a get well card, that was so sweet. Friends and neighbors have been calling to check in. Chris is rocking our home, keeping everything running. Dec 24th, woke up with no pain. I even pooped I feel like I am on the mend.

In the days leading up to the surgery I created a lot of embroidered art to gift to those I love.

GA Christmas

winter fest

celebrating with friends

Gilroy Gardens

Christmas with friends

Yummy banquet dinner

My new art outlet continues

I am really getting into the embroidery.

I love the little sets I have done in the last three weeks.

The Snowmen were easy, only 5 hours each towel and so cute.

The Bonnet girls well, they took longer, 15 hours each towel, but they are stunning.

I find it calms and settles me. Also when doing them, I am not snacking.

I am finally making progress on my weight loss journey again.

-2.3 in the last 7 days, -11.1 in the last 30 days, -78.4 since my highest.

Getting out, more and more...

We are Vaxxers. Yes it is true. We have three now. And a flu shot, and a Shingles shot, and an MMR, and even a DPT! I have always been a person who got vaccines and believed in science. In this world of Covid, my ideals have not changed.

Things are opening up. Life is beginging to happen. Humans are resuming commmunication. You have to wear a mask, LOL for many this is miserable... For me, no big deal. I have a bunch of cute masks so I am ok, it is just another accessory in my getting dressed routine..

We have been going to Great America, Gilroy Gardens and even the Fresno zoo. We often meet up with our pal Mike. He too is a vaxxer. We have a good time, share meals, we have fun, smile in the face of a covid world, and live like SOMEDAY is TODAY.

So get vaxxed, wear a mask, and go live your best life.

Life in the SciFi land of Covid-19

Before I grabbed my coffee, wallet and keys and headed out looking for the sunrise.

The suddenly March 2020, like out of a movie, with a TV newscast announcement, panic swallowed the world. We were told Go home! Shelter in place! See no one, life is dangerous.

We closed a door and life as we knew it vanished. We hid in the saftey of our homes, fear overwhelming us. Anger and desperation enveloped many. The world changed in the blink of an eye.

I would peer through the shuttered window, as I waited for the walking dead to come strolling down the street. I flashed back to old movie scenes of under takers with wheel barrels calling out "Bring out your dead.... Bring out your dead..." I did not know the world I was living in. Silence, no people, fear of the dreaded spiked Covid balls.

Now here we are in 2021, some 18 months later. When the door is cracking open, it is an entirely different world we are faced with. I feel like I am in some kind of SciFi movie. Now, I plan, I lay out, I map out, I think long and hard first. Then I cautiously go out, looking around for an escape from imminent danger. There is an odd fear of people as a whole still hangs heavy in the air. I am armed only with a mask, wipes, a bottle of sanitizer, and a paper cup of coffee.

This all came to me over the last week as we planned to go to The Haunt at Great America. A park we are so familiar with, an event we loved, before the world turned on its axes and life changed. Forever?

I am taken up embroidery. I am loving it, art in a stitch.

Back home safe and sound.

September 16th, we took a first trip since February 15, 2020. Oddly enough that trip too was to Seattle WA.

We flew up, no more meals on the plane, not really any restaurants open in the airport even. Another big change, masks, I am actually ok with that. First time ever I flew and did not end up sick LOL.

We went up to see Paul and Eileen’s new house. It is a nice house from a simpler time. Nestled in a sweet little neighborhood with a bakery and butcher. Felt like going back to a simpler time.

I got to make a visit to my favorite store, Archie Mcphees. I love the rubber chicken museum. It was fun.

The next day we went to the North West Trek. It was fun to see all the animals out the car window, roaming around, unafraid in their large safe enclosure. It was a pretty day, although overcast, raining it felt like a perfect Washington day. We then walked through the “zoo” which is more tucked into nature enclosures, that I really do not think the animals know they are not in the wild. The animals were calm and seemed happy. I was happy, I felt like I was hiking in the open forest.

Sunday, we went over to Bainbridge island and walked around an estate called Boledel. It was an amazing place. Someone used to live there in the acres surrounded by nature. They donated it to the state and now we can all enjoy it. It was very pretty and serene and I even got to hear thunder. To top that off we got to take a ferry ride both ways. If I lived in WA, I would be on the ferry a lot.

The last day we went to Leavenworth up in the mountains a two-and-a-half-hour drive, but well worth it. The drive was lovely, such beautiful mountains. The town was sweet and tucked in. Best German food I have had in a long time. I would like to go back.

It was a fun trip, I did not mention but we had lots of great food and came back with a weight gain to prove it LOL.

September is here... The Ber months again. Where did this year go? I am safe and ok and thankful. I am hoping to end this year physically and emotionally stronger than I did 2020.
The fifth we got our 3rd Covid shot. I am hoping this keeps us safe in the months to come. I did make us feel like crap, but three days of crap is better than three months or death.
This whole world is so new, so many changes in people and how to approach them. We are in a shut your mouth and scroll past it society. Do not speak up, keep your opinion to yourself or risk the rath of the self entitled. I find it more and more appealing to just shut the door and stay in the saftey of my home bubble. When in public or on social media, I smile and keep it fluffy.
I did cut my hair off! I love it. so easy, so sassy. I was ready, so overdue. I feel better about me. Now I need to get my food in line and help my body feel better. It has been a rough couple of weeks.

Flowers from Paul and Eileen.

They were so sweet and made me smile.

Flowers from Chewy.com where got Georges pet meds. These really surprised me.

August 13, 2021

Well here we are more than half way through the year. In the beginning, there was hope. This month it is fading. Covid is surging. mostly in the south where people refuse to mask or get the vaccine. They are dying, and the virus is mutating. We are stepping back not moving forward.

After 20 year in Afghanistan we finally have a president with the balls to pull us out, take our boys out of harms way, and the world is mad at him. I just shake my head in disbelief... Why is America the worlds father, Mother , Savior?

After 16 years it was time to say goodbye to my sweet George. He was in terrible pain and it was kind. He died in the yard in his favorite napping spot on a soft blanket while getting petted and kissed. When he exhaled his last the sun broke through and showed him the way home. August 17.

We got a pump organ from 1800's! it is so awesome. Chris is going to learn to play it. If only it could talk, the stories it could tell. Chris is learning to restore them and that will be a joy.

August 17th, After over 30 years, we finally took down the popcorn ceiling. I am so happy! It was a BIG job and Chris mastered it. After I just keep looking up and thinking how much I like it.

June 5th! Mamita turns 100! We all got together and celebrated with her at the old Spaghetti factory in San Jose. There were 30 family and friends to cherish her. Everyone was vaccinated and wore a mask. She has seen so much in her life time. She is amazing.

In June Chris won an entire set of Wizard of Oz cards in one day. We framed them. He is so proud.

May!!!!! YES!!!! Great America opened!

We went and I still fit on the coasters. I am so excited, I feel hopeful!

Paul and Eileen came down and we celebrated his birthday with us. I was so excited to see them after all this time, and on his birthday! We got to eat out for the first time in a YEAR! I feel so blessed :) We sat on the patio of Sam's BBQ in San Jose and smiled, ate ribs and acted like it was 2019.....

In April we got to go to Gilroy Gardens. Is the world coming back? We can hope. It was a fun day with our pal Mike.


April, Huge reality check. Susan my younger sister had a stroke. it was massive. She did survive, with some major deficits. She did live her life much harder than I have lived mine, drinking, drugs and cigarettes have aged her. This is a wake up call for me.... I need to pay attention and get healthy!

In March we got to go to Fresno Zoo with our friend Mike for the first time in a year. It was fun and exciting. Aside from the masks, it felt like real life again. But oddly sad remembering days of yore, where you saw smiles, people hugged and life felt carefree.

March 18th we were vaccinated! We were so excited. Was this the beginning of the end?

In the first part of the year I actually sold some of my paintings!

I was so excited.

I have started making some great repurposing of chandeliers they are cool.

I spend a lot of time int he yard, it is my sanctuary in a crazy world. I fight depression daily. 2020 scared the life out of me. 2021 just feels like a dark tunnel. I sit in the garden with the blue jay and dogs and try to center and find joy. It is feeling hopeless.

January 18th - Chris was exposed to Covid at work! I am in a blind panic. We will be tested. I am prying we will be ok.... Ok the test is negative, but we have to wait and quarantine for 14 days to be sure. I am so scared. Ido not want to die!

February 12th it is the change of the Lunar new year... No parades, no China town.... just home remembering the days of parties and excitement of a new year. Funny 2020 was the year of the Rat.... hmmmm pestilence and plague associated with that animal, and look what it brought. This is the year of the Metal ox! hopefully, the world will be less static than last year and get moving again in the second half of the year.

January 6th, Our country has lost its mind! like Covid is not bad enough there is an insurrection at our nations capitol. Seems Trump has rallied his followers to raise havoc because he lost the election. We have moved past civility in this country are are now living in mob rule. I am afraid for what will become of us. People died. I am scared and sad.