Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

Have you ever had one of those days where you simply have had enough and then something else falls from the sky, drops in your lap, and voila, you simply have to take that on too?

Recently I have had a series of events occur that are over the top and I wanted to share this with you.

Going back a bit to the beginning of last year, a blood test revealed that I had a cancer. All last year and into this, I have been undergoing treatment. There have been a number of side effects to say the least.

One of these I have been referring to as a “spell.” It is rapid heartbeat and low blood pressure. Both the oncologist and the primary care doctors told me not to worry. I don’t know about you, but for me this was a worrisome deal. On a recent Saturday, when I was having one of these spells, I looked to my husband and said, “Take me to the emergency room. Let’s find out what is really going on here.”

Now, I could really get into the details here but would rather not. Suffice it to say, there was a treatment to settle down my heart, xrays, and more. One of the funny moments, if there can be any, was when the ER nurse handed me this tiny cup to use for a urine sample. With all the wires coming off me, how was I ever going to hit target zero? I felt like I was the meatball in a huge bowl of spaghetti.

I ended up spending quite a bit of time in the hospital. More than I expected. I was in for a total of 16 days, or slightly over half of August. What they discovered was that I have a fixable heart condition. The next thing they discovered was pneumonia. I thought this would quarantine me, but surprisingly it did not.

Over the course of my time in the hospital, I had numerous xrays, too many blood tests, insertion of a PICC line to enable the nurses to draw blood, respiratory treatments, and whole slew of tests, and pills, pills and more pills. Then there was the food.

The nurses bragged about the good food that comes from their cafeteria. The food was really bad. If they added a bit of applesauce to their apple muffins, eating one of these would be moist and flavorful rather than bland and dusty. Dinner plates were attended with a dull knife. There can be no serrated edges to a knife handed to a patient as they might cut themselves. I found it was easier to eat like a cave man. It just worked out better. The staff was not happy that they kept having to change my gown and sheets.
Upon release, they told me that I had a fixable heart condition and the pneumonia. They also told me that I was suffering from COPD, and a slight trace of emphysema. They were waiting for results from a test they did on my lungs, and it would be about another week before we knew what those results would be.

Did I mention that I gained 20 pounds in the two weeks? It was not from the hospital food. One of the drugs causes major water retention. I swear I can hear myself sloshing as I walk. The swelling has my ankles looking like I had sprained both of them. Maybe I should add a bit of purple and green eye shadow. At least I now I know what my feet probably looked like when I was a baby. All the wrinkles are gone there and in my face too. Who cares that I look like a chipmunk? Hey, maybe they should just give this drug out instead of using a Botox based drug to create a youthful looking you.

When we finally found out the results of the tests, we were told that I now have stage 3 cancer. The other cancer does not seem to be with me anymore, but this one is.

So, now you know why my responses to you and new postings have shifted. This last week has been one Dr. appointment after another as things get lined up and ready for the start of my treatments. My treatments will be a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, and I believe it will begin next week.

As if is this is not enough, one more thing happened. It took us once again to the ER. I have a blazing red and purple rash on my abdomen that turned up quickly. This ugly little rash turns out to be shingles. I can now pass on chicken pox! Wahoo! One never expects to hear hysterical laughter in the ER, but after hearing this is what I had, my husband and I did just that: We laughed our asses off.

We have new challenges to face, my husband and I, and we will be doing so head on and with a positive outlook. I want life to be as normal as it can be considering the circumstances. I am hoping that I will be able to post to the Life in the Foothills blog on a regular basis, and same with the Mondays Finish the Story blog. If there is a bit of delay in my replying to a comment, commenting on your story, or doing a post, I ask that you bear with me. I have an offer from one of my blogging friends to help me out, and if I need to I will take her up on that.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and remember: Be well… ^..^

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It is time for another edition of Mondays Finish the Story! This flash fiction challenge asks that the writer complete a story of 100-150 words, using the opening line as provided (in bold and italicized letters), and that the story goes with the photo prompt. I hope that you enjoy my story entitled “She Could Do It.”

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

“Arriving at the beach, she reflected on her life.” She listened to the waves as they came in. Closing her eyes, she listened to the sounds of the water battering against the beach.

She just had to get away from it all to think. She did all the right things. She ate the right foods, avoided the excess of alcohol, and drank tea instead of coffee. She had lost twenty-five pounds, and discovered that most of the glands in her body were swollen, making her uncomfortable.

The diagnosis was cancer, and she was told that she had it for years by the look of things. She felt the lump forming in the back of her throat. She had to make a choice of either going through chemotherapy or not.

During her life, her Mom showed her by example what it was to have a will to live. Her Mom was given five years  and she survived cancer for thirty-seven years now. If her Mom could do it and survive, then so could she!

Her choice

Her choice

* * * * * * * * * * *

A slight bit over on the word count!  Thank you for stopping by today for a quick read!

Be well… ^..^

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Did you know that horseradish is not in the radish family but actually in the family of cabbage and broccoli? It belongs to the family “Brassicaceae.” It is a native plant to Europe and Western Asia. It is a root plant that can achieve a height of about five feet!

Horseradish - Photo from the Botanic Garden in Utrecht, Netherlands

The root itself has little aroma, but when the root is grated or cut, that grate or cut damages the cells in the root causing the release of an oil in the plant that causes an irritation to the nose, eyes and the mouth. This is what we would also call the heat in the vegetable. Consider a hot mustard…same thing.

It is a perennial plant in zones 2 – 9, and can be grown outside of these areas as an annual. It is the main root that is harvested in the fall and the secondary roots, also removed from the ground, can then be replanted, and will remain in a dormant state until the following spring. It can also be an invasive plant by sending the offshoots of the root to the area surrounding it.

The root - Photo by Anna - Vienna, Austria

How did this vegetable get its name? Well as is usual on the internet there are all kinds of stories. One tells a story of a sick horse that they thought was not going to make it, so its owners let it eat whatever it wanted. It went to a weed that they thought was poisonous, and the horse miraculously survived! So they tried the plant themselves and found it delicious. The problem with this story is the horse ate the greens not the root. Another story is that the word is derived from the German word for the plant, which is “meerrettich.” It is believed that English speakers could not properly pronounce the “meer” part of the word. They would say “mare” which then they turned to horse. Another story indicates that the plant is a radish, and it was given this name to mean that the vegetable was “as strong as a horse.” So which is the right story? Who knows, so pick the one you like best!

The horseradish that we using in the kitchen is actually a combination of the root plus a bit of vinegar and cream. The most popular meat that this is served with is beef. But it can be used as a spread on a sandwich. And there is actually a cheddar made using horseradish that is wonderful on a roast beef sandwich. It is also added to the ever popular Bloody Mary beverage.  Try grating a bit of this root into your mashed potatoes for a bit of a zing!

It has medicinal properties as well. In years gone by it was used to help cure the common cold. It has also been used as a diuretic. It is also being used in the studies of cancer. It has been known to kill certain bacterial strains.

So next time you are at a dinner table where horseradish is being served, you can impart a bit of interesting facts about this incredible root!

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