Ms. Roseannadanna Was Right

It's always something.

Spontaneous bleeding was something I thought I left behind with the hysterectomy, seven months ago.

Evidently not. I tell you, it's been a great weekend. So it's back to the gynecologist. Luckily someone decided to have a baby during my scheduled 6-month checkup, so I was re-scheduled to tomorrow in any case. At least I won't have to try to wrangle something at the last minute - if you are a gal, you know how easy (*koff*) it is to get an appointment with your OB/Gyn.

Blah, blah, blah...



I pulled Nurse Ratched for the sleep study, which was an exercise in both futility and discomfort.

She irritably asserted that I had sleep apnea (because everyone else who comes there does, according to her).

She asserted that my stuffiness at night was not allergies but irritation from the apnea (because everyone else has that problem).

She asserted that my skin couldn't possibly be allergic to/irritated by the glue they used on my head/face or the material the mask for the c-pap is made out of (ignore those little round contact-shaped rashes on your skin in the morning, nobody else ever had those).

In the morning she did admit that I didn't seem to have apnea, but added in a complaining tone that this was probably because when I managed to doze off I slept on my side instead of 'supine'. Evidently I would have had apnea like everybody else if I had slept in the slightly different position I had reported as being my habit. Clearly I was just being difficult. (I do usually tilt a bit further forward than a completely side-laying position, but there was a bunch of wires and glued-on contacts on my head and face and a bunch of machinery stuffed up my nostrils, so I wasn't able to sleep in a way that put more pressure on them).

She then made up for this tiny admission by sarcastically noting that the wires had tipped my cup of water all over the cart - 'it's only fifteen thousand dollars worth of computer.' I refrained from pointing out that I had originally put my cup on the ledge on the other side, and that she was the one who had decided it should be moved to the cart.

She was able to reassert her position very quickly after that by directing me to the stubbornly arctic shower by which I was supposed to rid myself of the half pound of glue and interesting blue X's she'd ground into my head and face. Nobody else has ever complained about the shower being too icy. She came into my room to inform me of this, but did not put her hand into the water to check it when I ran the shower as a demonstration.

And she was right. Nobody else complained about the shower this morning. The two other people having sleep studies this morning were stoic looking older men who were very quietly sliding their way towards the elevators when I flagged them down. I asked them how they had been able to manage the cold showers.

Neither of them had used the shower.

We all washed our heads in the bathroom sinks.


Guacamole Gazpacho

Here's the first of my health-conscious recipes. This one is also a 'raw foods' recipe, for those of you who are interested. It's a cold summer soup, and so far it's holding up well for several days in the fridge - my friend** and I actually preferred it a couple days later to the day we made it.

Guacamole Gazpacho

4 large ripe avocados
1 large cucumber
1 green chili, de-seeded and de-ribbed
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and de-ribbed
1 large sweet onion, peeled
2-3+ cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 cups cold, pure water
1-2 tsp. salt (to taste)
small bunch cilantro
2 limes, juiced


lime slices
sour cream/yogurt
remaining cilantro
1-2 ripe tomatoes, diced small (optional)
rough salt

Roughly chop onions, peppers, cucumber, & garlic, put in blender or processor with 3 cups water, process thoroughly. Strain through fine colander, pressing well to extract all the juices. Return strained part to blender*, add avocados, lime juice, tsp. salt & cilantro (setting aside a few leafs for garnish). Puree until smooth. Add more water to desired thickness. Adjust seasoning but keep in mind the garnishes for individual preferences.

*The parts left in the colander go in the compost, of course...

**Thanks to Gretchen & Olivia for the photo - looks great!


I Gotta Wear Shades...

Okay, I in no way recommend getting cancer in order to have a good time.

but there's life in the old girl yet, and toujours gai, archy. (Ten points if you place the quote**)

Not only that, but there are a few perks that come with the territory. One of which is getting to meet all the lovely new people that I've met this past year or so, on and offline - you know who you are, all of you, and I have no idea how I managed this long without knowing you. Bless you all, each and every one!

This month I am also discovering Pathways. This is a unique program in Uptown Minneapolis that serves those who are dealing with serious illness, giving them access to alternative treatments and programs that otherwise would be prohibitively expensive for many of us. Massage, meditation, Yoga classes, guided imagery, touch therapy, aromatherapy, etc... except for the seminars led by people from out of town, it's all free of charge for people dealing with chronic, debilitating, or terminal illnesses (that includes the 'patient' and their primary support person/caretaker).

I am also attending one of the Infinite Boundaries retreats in September... and if you are living with breast cancer, either as a patient or as a Survivor, you should know about this program. Link to their webpage, they can explain it better than I. They have wonderful retreats for all women who have experienced breast cancer, but they also have special retreats designed specially for young women, women with metastatic cancer, and women who are experiencing this scourge on their own without a partner for support. I haven't yet attended one of these retreats, but they look fabulous, and much of the cost is offset by their fund-raisers and sponsors, so that the cost is very reasonable (they also have scholarships available for folks who otherwise couldn't attend at all).

I feel very grateful to have these wonderful programs available in my area, and want to encourage anyone nearby to either take advantage of them (if appropriate) or support them (if you are lucky enough not to need them). Thanks to everyone who made these programs possible - I, for one, would never have been able to do any of these things without them.

**not for you, mom, that would be cheating!!