Logsdon Martin L.O.F.
(Licensed Oregon Fisherwoman)
November 27, 2014
These are from a collection of Thanksgiving candles
that I have from my Aunt Dulcina. I love them, so much,
and they come out to sit on my piano, each Thanksgiving!
To my dearest fellow fishing friends:
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am so thankful for so much, this Thanksgiving, and I sincerely hope that you are, also!
It's fun to get up in the morning, and be thankful for the covers you were under, and then for the coffee that is so effortless to make, and to hold hot in your hands. Just everything, even if you don't have all that you would like to have! The simplest of things that you don't even think about are things to be thankful for. There is always someone, somewhere, who has less!
I read the essay written by my Grandfather, at least a couple times a year. I simply love it. It really puts me in my place, when I think that I would like to have more than I do.
This time of year, there are many threads on ifish about the bounty of fish we have taken from our rivers, bays and streams.
Memorable Fishing stories from 2014
Show Your Fresh Winter Steelhead Pics Fall/Winter 2014/2015
Favorite Pic This Year?
Just so, so many things to be thankful for, in this fishing year. And a lot to look forward to, also!
Look at this... 2015 is going to be a fun year!
So, get on out there! Get your fishing gear ready, laugh at the frigid temperatures, and just get out there! Besides the possible prize of a wonderful salmon dinner, you will come home with a better attitude that will last throughout your week!
If you are like me, we need to fish! Every time I go with Bill, he says to me, "We really needed this!" And, oh... how right he is!
If you need a prayer for your dinner table this afternoon, feel free to use this one (in part, anyhow) that my Grandfather wrote. It goes with this essay, and I'd be honored if you'd read it (by clicking here!) I'd be further honored if you'd use it at your dinner table!
“And forgive me, please dear Lord, for all my mistakes, and there were many. You know, Lord, that I dislike crowds and the likes with all their rabble and babble. I believe that perhaps, you have spoiled me a little by going with me on every fishing and hunting trip that I ever took.
Many were the times, that just you and I, up some winding canyon, with nothing but hush clean up to the brim, save the low moaning of the wind in the pines and the music of tumbling water, interspersed occasionally by the raucous cry of a bird, who challenged not you, but me for being there. And how I loved and enjoyed all of it."
Roy L. Davidson
(God Bless My Grandfather!)
November 22, 2014
Upon arisal this morning- (No. "arisal" is not a word- but I like it, and in checking, it's been googled 152 times, so there!)
This morning, I fully intended to have a "good little day". Nothing could be much worse than the day before. Then I somehow, mysteriously, got lost in a world of trying to figure out the new Itunes (12.0). I became totally confused and lost! It's not that much different, really, just less intuitive! Just what we all need, right?
Bill complains to me pretty often about computer problems, but on a much different level. He really doesn't care for computers, or the whole generation "of". Bill gets stuck on basics. But, the frustration is all too alike, no matter what level you are confused about!
All I wanted to do was to delete one movie from my ipad that it said was on there! I couldn't figure it out, so I googled it. That's when the trouble started. From that Google, I learned something that made me yet more ignorant and google-prone.
Finally realizing the hopelessness of going 'round and 'round, I vowed out of the trap, never to let that happen to me, again! Well, until next time!
Computer confusion is here to stay, I'm afraid!
I'm listening to my neighbor and his high pitched leaf blower. Yes! That's where I'd rather be! Mindlessly blowing leaves! It calls my name.
Before I follow my (leaf) calling, I must tell you a tale.
I really don't even want to "go" there, but I need to. I need to write this down. It helps me to journal things, even if it is painful.
Yesterday was the most perfect example of a marfan-emotional roller coaster that I can recall enduring.
It started somewhere last week, when I was in Tillamook.
The other day was about the same feeling as it was four years ago. It triggered a bad memory. I was in Tillamook, and the weather was the same, the time was about the same, and I had just finished coffee, and was up to take a shower.
As I closed the door to the shower, I did something out of bravery that I am ashamed to say that I don't do, nearly enough.
I did a self breast exam.
I had a mammogram a month ago, and I was proclaimed a four year survivor! That's awesome for Triple Negative Breast Cancer! Out of that confidence, I vowed to do self exams for the next year, monthly, to ensure I would get to be the ultimate! A five year survivor! That's the goal for all TNBC affected. Five years is a general marker for being cured. After that general time period, our chances for reoccurrence is really fairly low!
For me, having originally found a cancerous tumor during a self exam, I now find them terrifying! I mean, what if? What if I find something... again!? Screech! My general reaction is "No Touchy!" No touch-no tumor! Makes sense, right? Not.
I know I should do these more often than women who have never had cancer! I should! But, I just don't wanna! It's so hard for me! I wonder if other breast cancer survivors feel that way.
But, I was confident that day. Everything was blue-sky wonderful that morning on the river, and by golly, I was gettin' er done. Blinding my fear, I began.
And what do you know-!! Boo! The ghost jumped out at me. There it was! A lump, a lump, a lump.
Nooooo. My heart sank.
Yep! It was there! Wasn't it?
Yes! My smile turned into a frown. Plain as day, it was there! Exactly where it had been, before!
My heart raced. I wanted to run from it. I flew out of that shower as if it were boiling water hot, and yelled to Bill.
"IS it? Is that a lump?" He could feel it too.
Noooo. My heart fell to the ground and I swore his fell, too, beating on the ground, beside mine. We sat, just staring at each other, speechless.
He started with the positive-thoughts speech, but it went in one ear and out the other. Only little bits of partial positives stuck.
I dialed my doc, made an appointment for an ultrasound, packed up and headed to the city. You know, the 'medical' city.
I already had an appointment for an ultrasound on Friday. I have day surgery next Tuesday to fix a vein in my leg that got messed up when the stent was placed there, ten long years ago.
It's always something. If I sat down to figure out how many surgeries I am behind on, it would be a list longer than my groceries.
In order to do this upcoming day surgery, they wanted to check on my stents, to see how things were going.
So, the breast cancer ultrasound was at 8:30 in the morning in one building on the hill.
My other ultrasound would be in an adjacent building at 10:00. Good enough. One miracle of a fell swoop and I'd be out of there by noon.
Of course I was nervous, waiting for the hours, the days to pass until Friday.
Thursday night, I was restless and sleepless. The alarm went off at 5:30 AM. Got up, dizzily read my e mail, had coffee, and I was off. The traffic was awful yesterday, due to the Sellwood bridge construction.
I was late, but they got me right in.
You know, I can't help but believe that the medical professionals get a little bit amped up when there is something really wrong. That's not an insult, but medical people are two people. They are the scientist, and secondarily, the people with heart.
I'd prayed. I hadn't told many people about this event. Even with my prayers, I just had this awful shadow of doom over me, this time. If cancer comes back with TNBC, it is untreatable. What they call "metastatic breast cancer." There is no cure. I hate that!
Anyhow, the test was over quickly, and they assured me that it was only scar tissue from the previous surgery! YAY! I was so relieved! I called or texted the few people I told!
Praise God! I was ashamed for not trusting in God! I promised Him I would be more trusting. He will always take care of me!
With a skip in my step, I was out of there, laughing and smiling, even through my sleepless state. I was going to celebrate the rest of the day, the rest of my life! Yippeee!
Next, just an easy-peasy ultrasound pre-op on my legs and I was outa-there-home! Whoop, whoop!
I sat in the waiting room, feeling great, and wanting to get this done. I longed for a skinny caramel latte in celebration.
They called me in, and I was laughing with the techs. I had the sillies.. -told them to please disregard the state of the old growth timber on my legs... ha ha. It was winter time, and I hadn't shaved my legs.
Turns out, though, that the stents are actually in my abdomen. I didn't know that! The entry points were in each side of my groin, so I didn't even have to disrobe. Just unbutton my pants a bit.
They were poking around with the probe sliding around on warmed goop, looking for the stents. OHSU is a teaching school, so there was one male teacher tech, and one female resident. All of the sudden, the teacher tech looked ultra concerned. Almost panicked, he ordered her, "Back up!" I jerked my head around to view the screen. What's wrong?
"Look! Right there." He told the tech. "An endoleak!"
Of course, the techs can't diagnose you, and they aren't to act panicked or even let on if there is a problem. There was obviously a dang problem and it wasn't a secret at all! My heart sank back down. What on earth now?!
Let me tell you. I have an abdominal aneurism. I have an endoleak I am well aware of. It is why I couldn't walk after my aortic dissection. I have had it for many years. It is not pleasant to think how delicate my parts are, down there. It is leaking into several layers of a false lumen. As my son Andrew told a friend once, when he was just seven, "My heart could 'splode at any time." Out of the mouths of babes...
It has, thankfully, remained unchanged, stable, and although not a good thing, the risk of fixing it is not worth it, at this point. The surgery to repair it is very scary and intense. There is a pretty high "'failure" rate attached to the surgery.
Failure, as in... I die. So, as long as it is stable, as long as I don't lift things, as long as I don't get hit in the gut, (or play too many salmon- Sh!)-- I'll be fine. I think, anyhow. It's still a bit of a mystery to me.
Yes. It could rupture, and my thoracic aneurysm did, but I survived.
For now, I'm alive. It is what it is.
Obviously, I learned much later, the tech was not aware of my history.
Imagine as a tech, you were looking at someone's aorta, and you saw a leak. You'd freak out, too. That's not a good thing!
You know, as I get older, I find I'm a little more stressed about my health problems. I don't want to be a hypochondriac. I really do have darn serious health problems, and I guess I deserve to be a hypochondriac, but I never have been and ever don't want to be! But- I do worry a bit more as I age. Mostly, I'm panicked to have to go to the hospital and stay. I don't want to leave my dog. I just don't want to miss out on any of my life, mundane as it may be!
Last scare was when they thought I had an infection in my heart. I was a very bad patient. They wouldn't let me go home, and so I escaped from the ER by sneaking out the swinging doors when two surgeons went through them. I ran to David, my dog and the car, waiting outside, even with IV tubes in my veins! I just unhooked myself, and snuck out of there, giggling the whole way! I did! I can't believe I did that! David talked me into going back like a good patient. I did. The tide has turned. He is now the parent.
Turns out they were wrong about the infection.
The docs have a right to be concerned about me. My condition is serious. But, I do find that many of them, especially those not totally familiar with my case, look at me like science experiment, instead of a person with feelings.
And that is how I felt, in that ultrasound office. The tech was telling me how dangerous this was, (oh, really!?) and that I might have to stay and be rushed into surgery and... and... the more he talked, the more I went into escape mode. I did NOT like this tech! I did not like him, Sam I am!! He began to get frustrated with me, also, and was addressing me with that condescending "Ma'am" stuff. He was scaring me and insulting my medical (degree, ha ha) knowledge, all at the same time. I do know my medical condition very well, though!
From the tip of my arachnodactyly toes to the lack of vitreous in my eyes.
Anyhow, I asked repeatedly, "Shouldn't you compare these test results with my previous tests? Shouldn't you look at the abdominal CT that I had just had a few months prior?" I told him that I knew I had an abdominal aneurysm. Had it changed? He wouldn't even listen to me, though! Pheh! He was on to his discovery and by golly, it was serious.
So, let's see. In review, I was free of breast cancer, but I was going to have to have the scary surgery that I have had looming in my future for years. The one that could kill me. The one that my surgeon keeps telling me about, but hasn't done yet, as the risk still outweighs the benefit. Damn. It. I had not been prepared for this possibility. It was the furthest from my mind, lately!
When they left to go call my doctor, I grabbed my iphone and called my own doctor. My cardiologist and fishing friend, Dr.. Menashe. He advised me, calmly. He is the most wonderful man! He has followed my son and I for over 20 years. He told me to let them finish the test, and to get Dr. Song, my surgeon, in on the test results. That's all we could do.
I told the techs that I'd be on campus should anyone want to talk to me, so with much trepidation, they finally 'let' me go. They told me the doctor would call me.
Until then, I had no idea if what they were seeing was indeed something that was changed, or if it were nothing. It was indeed stressful.
The thought of having breast cancer again is scary, but this heart stuff, and heart surgery... it is scary, too! I don't know which is more scary!
On my way home, I was a mess. I was tired. I was hungry, but I was also sick to my stomach. I was nervous. Just a nervous wreck.
The phone rang while in traffic. I couldn't get the darn phone to sync through my car speakers, so I missed the call. I pulled over, and listened to the message.
I KNEW IT!!! A very calm and kind partner of my Tuesday surgeon said that yes, there was an endoleak, but from looking at my records, it was the same endoleak that I had many years before. (I KNEW it!!!) It appeared stable, and there was no problem, and that I should show up just like normal for my Tuesday surgery.
I felt like a limp rag. I sank back into my chair in my car and just took a moment, there to Thank God.
Later, I called Dr. Menashe, and told him the whole story. He was pretty upset about the tech letting on that there was a problem. They aren't supposed to diagnose. I told Dr. Menashe to remember... I'm not an easy patient. I kind of stood up for the tech, even though I really didn't like his bedside manner at all. I explained that it would have saved my life, had we not known about it. That the tech didn't really diagnose it, and I didn't believe he really broke any rules or protocol- but just got a little over excited about the endoleak, and probably didn't think I'd know the term, "endoleak". Oops. Wrong patient! I know way too many medical terms!
What a day in the life of a marfan syndrome patient! Let me tell you. There is nothing about my life that you want. Nothing!
It has got me to realizing, though, that yes, I have some loose wires in my abdomen, and I should be very careful. I shouldn't pick up that bag of dog food, or carry both jugs of milk into the house. I really shouldn't play those salmon like I used to. I need to hand them off to Bill, after the first rush of the bite, and maybe just a little into the play.
Why? Because I don't want to go to the hospital. I don't want to have to have that surgery, and I want to enjoy my life for as long as I can!
Everything happens for a reason.
It is these things that happen in my life, these little bits of terrifying reality that help me to wake up each and every day and Thank God for the blue skies, and for the clouds, and for the breath that travels through to my very core.
It's very easy to love and appreciate your life, when doctors are just waiting for you to come in with a serious problem to fix. They do get excited about the prospect of a dissected aorta. It would have been a pretty cool thing if that tech had discovered an endoleak in me, and saved my life.
Not this time, buddy. That's my endoleak, and I found it, first. :)
Fishing Life, Complete!
I love my life, and it's a pleasure to fish it.
on Grant's Getaways