Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

December 2010

Picture by Pete Morris
Madeleine Morris and Jennie at Christmas Party 2011!


Happy December 1st!
Pizza Tonight! Don't forget!

Good morning! OHmygosh... I've been so busy and I remain so busy, and besides that, I'm way behind! I feel like I'm chasing my tail, lately!
Gotta go to the dentist, then come back and put up Stan's column, and get out the ifish stuff for the party, and get cards for the mods, and load the car with toys (load the sleigh!) and go!
Gotta find the right banners (Where are they?) and, find name tags, and and and... Yikes!
The party is tonight!
Call your wife and tell her you all don't need to cook, tonight! It's party night! Just go buy some toys!
I was up all night coughing. It's that phase where you feel better, but your body is trying to expel all that sick from you, so that you can go on your merry way. I'm glad I'm beating it, at least!
I went to get a wig, yesterday and had so much fun at this "Look Good Feel Better" meeting. Lots of fun makeup and a wig! Wow! Never thunk I'd wear a wig!
It's kinda cute, actually!
We decided not to cut my real hair, yet, as she said she doesn't think it's "that" bad. OK! It does bug me, though. Hair, everywhere! Oh well... we'll see how long I can take this. At least for tonight, I'll have real hair, but look out, you guys! I shed!
Please remember that if you are with ifish, you get 20 percent off pizza at Pietros! Just say the magic word, and if you have an ifish badge with a moniker, you win 20 percent off!
Oh! Enter our "Guess the toys" contest, and win a prize from Okuma!
OK, gotta go to the dentist. I'm off!

Happy December 3rd

The party was excellent! For pictures, Click here!
I always get so frustrated, though, at these parties. I want to spend time with everyone, and then I end up hopping around like scotch, and not getting to spend any quality time with anyone!
There are even people I missed, all together!
And then, to top it off, I was SO excited about some almond roca that was given to me, and my Dad was enjoying it so much, that I accidentally left it on the table! I quick called them and they are saving the left overs for me! I can't wait to go get it! And my friend, Ginny has the recipe! So, thank you for the candy! I'm in wait! (and want!) NOW!
So, this morning I was vacuuming my hair... Yes. I vacuum my hair. It's now coming out quite nicely, thank you.
It just grosses me out when it comes out in the shower, so I give it a good brushing, first. But, then, it's like cleaning up after grooming Kilchis. I end up having to vacuum the floor. So, why not skip a step? I just vacuum my head! It works really well! I take a little hand held vacuum and go at it!
I should just shave it, but my beauty gal said that maybe... just maybe it won't all come out and to wait and see for sure. At this rate, honey, it's all coming out!!! I have a ton of hair, but there is another ton in the waste basket! What a mess!
And now I have three wigs to wear. They are very sexy! And one of them is so freaky! It looks so much like my own hair! The other two are donated and kinda fun! I can't wait! That's a lie. I can totally wait! I don't want to go bald, but I'm trying to make the best of it, so "I can't wait!"
I have been so busy trying to keep up with ifish! Man oh man! I do love ifish. I do! I don't think I'll ever be able to leave. I'm stuck here. Like it or not!
So, we have a new contest up! Take a peek! Make some hot chocolate and get out your coloring set! It's Mag Lip time!
And by tonight, we'll be voting on the Kwikfish! Just look at these entries! Talk about fish killers! Springers, anyone? We are SO near to that season! Do you even realize? Whoo hoooooo!

Merry December 5th

Ever wake up in a great mood, and then in no time at all, things that happen (people that happen! LOL) change that around?
Bothers me.
I want to be in a good mood! I will! I will! I will be in a good mood! I seem to naturally be in a good mood when I wake up. I love mornings! And I try, I try, to keep it that way! But, by golly, it seems like some people just want to turn that around for me. Well, I'm not going to let that happen! So, there! I'm going to smile, regardless. Ha ha!
I'm going to leave the computer, now, and go put up Holiday decorations! Holiday decorations can't ruin my good mood! They like me! LOL
Then, I'm going to take pictures of some Salty Dog Sweatshirts that I have, and get rid of them on the Salty Dog board. Great big sweatshirts for great big fishermen! My fav!
And all the while, I'm going to smile.
See if you can stop me!
And no, that's not a challenge.
I'd much rather you join me!

See? This is me!
Look, Ma! No hair, too!

Merry December 4th

The Kwikfish Vote is on!

Please take a minute to click above and put in your vote! The guys worked hard on their coloring projects, so let's pay some respect, here!!! :)

Merry December 6th
Just goofing around at the piano!

Merry Christmas! :) I can't wait to be sick with chemo so that I can play the piano, again. It worries me a bit, because I'm having trouble with things like Schubert, because my arm is really irritated due to the chemo injection site. It hurts! I can't for sure, stretch it out, so octaves are difficult. And- that's my usual forte. I mean, I have a great reach, and... well, it's kaput, now! I hope it gets better.
Well, I'm getting used to wearing a wig. I took my kitchen shears and cut off my hair. It didn't even bother me. In fact, it was a relief. Who is in control, here? ME, dangit! So, now I have to wear my wig. I went to see my hair gal and she likes it! I nearly paid her for the compliment. That helped me so much to hear it looks alright. I felt goofy in it, till then!
I received a poem in the mail from one of my breast cancer mentors and it really made me smile! I don't know the author, though! Yikes! Anyway, if someone knows, please send it along!
Tomorrow is chemo day. I need all the good chemo karma I can get! :)


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

“Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today!”

So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.

“H-m-m,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.”

So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that she had only one hair on her head.

“Well,” she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.”

So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head.

“YEA!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

Attitude is everything!

Merry December 8th

What's it like to do chemo?
Well, you know? I'll tell ya. I always wondered myself, and now I have that experience.
Wow. I'm lucky! I get to do so many things! And I'm not kidding, either. I do like a well rounded life. Now I've had cancer, too. I get to do it all! It's good to have both ups and downs, so that you can appreciate the ups even more!
(Notice the past tense? I consider myself a survivor, already!)
So, yesterday was my chemo day.
I've lost nearly all my hair, now. And I mean... e v e r y w h e r e!
I nearly made a sign and jokingly posted it on the outside of the entrance to the chemo shop. I thought it was funny, but you guys, (warning) some of you may not. But, I've learned to laugh at things that are the most morbid, when things are gray. I have had to! So, my gift of the sign was going to say:

With office visit!
Pain free!

For those of you who have no clue, (Like I didn't, just months ago) A brazzilion is where they wax off even your, um... personal hair.. eh hem, down there.
Sometimes I get my legs waxed, and I, having had no clue, asked my wax lady what in the heck a "brazzillion" was, when I saw it on the price menu. I was shocked! Why in the world???
So, anyhow, yes. That hair goes, too, with chemo! Yikes! Why would anyone want that on purpose?? I don't know, but it's a fad, right now!
Whatever happened to pet rocks?
My doctor laughed when she heard about my sign. I was so relieved! LOL
So, people on chemo (me) are right in with the fad, it seems! I'm stylin'!
Yesterday, I rounded up all my hair products, hair sprays, gels, shampoos, conditioners, all my razors and put them away for the duration. No more hair dryers or curling irons or flat irons! What's a girl to do? Wear a wig!
That was kind of freeing! No more shampoo! No more shaving! Cool! Showers will be long, but not busy! My bathroom drawers are clean!
So, I walk into the doc office, yesterday morning early, and they first checked my blood levels. I checked out fine. So, then, it's off to visit with the doctor. My doctor is just awesome. Dr. Webster. She is a two time breast cancer survivor. Here's a story on her. She's battled hell, and come out closer to Heaven-- and I feel I have that in common with her. I actually don't know her religious preference, but she is filled with joy!
She also is a great research person on the new parp inhibitors for triple negatives. Listen to her lecture, here. I am especially interested in this, as this is what very well could save my life, down the road. However, it would have to be approved by the FDA, because with marfan and all, I'm not eligible for any test groups.
Anyhow... So, Dr. Webster talked to me about my side effects last time, and approved me for my second round. (I'm half done!)
I went upstairs to the "chemo suites" and found a nice comfy room. They hooked me up with my IV and started to pump first steroids, then Benedryl, then Cytoxin and then Taxotere? I think? But, in between those they gave me a little Ativan, due to nausea. That made me sleepy!
After three hours, I was done, and went home!
I've been a bit sick since then, but nothing that isn't do-able. You know? I mean, so far, nothing worse, but a little comparable to a slight flu.
Today I'll get a Neulasta shot that will help bring my white blood cell back up. Now, this makes my bones ache quite a bit, so I'll be in a bed for a couple days, most likely.
I think I'll get out my Christmas bulbs (the clear ones) and do a little crafts, or perhaps have my laptop in bed, and try to get some ifishing done.
I'm OK with it all, you guys. Chemo isn't that bad.
I had fun wearing my wig, yesterday, and enjoying comments on it. It matches so well and looks quite a bit like the old me. I'll take a picture of me with it, sometime this week. You'll see!
It's so much nicer after the shock of hearing you have cancer, to have a plan. Once you have a plan of attack, things seem to just chug along and I think I'll be done with this, before I know it!
Never have I been more excited for springer season. Cuz, you know what? I'll be done by then!
And you know what? I thank my Heavenly Father for each and every morning I wake up. Each moment is special. Each commonly small disaster in life is less important and less depressing... as long as I'm here, as long as I'm breathing, there is good.
Praise God!
...and I can't believe I wrote what I did, up there. It might get taken down once I fully realize my overly candid sharing! You know, "report regret!"

Merry December 9th

Oh, what a difference a day makes!
Talk about a slam dunk! That great big hand of fate came down on me all at once, and slammed my "feel good" right into the basket!
It happened right after my Neulasta shot. I was supposed to take a Claritin in the morning, the day before, and one the day of. Well, leave it to me to be lazy and put it off. I finally bought some as I filled a prescription for antibiotics after my Neulasta shot.
While at the doctors for the shot, they told me I had a fever, and to really watch that.
I didn't know I had a fever!
So, I went home and sure enough, the chills started, and then the heat, and then the total slam dunk. I was out for the count. I wasn't making dinner! In fact, I was telling Andrew I'd not like the steak I'd gotten out, but please send up some chix noodle soup and a PBJ. My favorite sick food!
I was staying in bed!
And now the mouth peeling starts, and my fingernails hurt, again.
I lay there, trying to read a contract a mile long, and instead, watching a dozen reruns of "Storm Chasers", dozing in and out, all the while.
I have a bad cough.
This morning I feel so weak, but my fever has broken. That's good news! I think it did, anyhow. I have that weak, cold feeling.
Man, but did that hit me! Or something hit me! A car?
And so now I wait and pull myself out of this hole. I know that it's going to get better until my next chemo. Right?
At least I don't have anything huge on my plate. Well, except Christmas, and I have not ONE... not ONE Christmas present purchased! I don't know what to do, there!
I hope that I get the 'zip back in my doo dah' soon, so that I can get out there and play Santa, too!
There MUST be stockings hung by the fire with care! We are hoping that St. Nick will soon be there!
Speaking of.... I was sent this wonderful piece on Mr. Stan Fagerstrom and I was so taken by it! Meet Don Barone who was touched by the presence of Stan Fagerstrom, just as we all are!
What is it about some folks that just stir up the magic in life?
Read here!

Merry December 10th

I think I'm going to live, after all.

Merry December 13th

Me with chemo hair! I cut it with the kitchen scissors because I was tired of cleaning it up. It's very thin, but so far, I still have a little! Just lots of bald spots! You have to cover them like some men do, with a side part!


The winner of the Kwikfish Contest!

Ifish member Pickles!
With "Springer-Fever"

Thank God! Today is the day. I finally feel like I'm over the hump and going to feel better until the next chemo. I'm halfway done!
You can't really consider yourself halfway done until after the lousy feelings from chemo.
I have two more chemo dates and then I'm all done. Well, after the lousy feelings. December 28th and January 18th. By show time, (Sportsman Show) I should be feeling alright, and celebrating! Then, I do 5 weeks of radiation and I'm done! They may even shorten my radiation, as I have marfan and people with marfan don't take as well to radiation as others. I'm not sure how they'll handle that, but I do have to talk with them about it as a consideration.
I'll tell you, this time was way worse than the first chemo. One day I just lay in bed and cry. All day long! I cried! I called my sisters and cried. I called my brother and cried. What a wimp! I hurt all over. My emotions were a mess. It doesn't only take you over physically, but mentally, too! I just didn't want to be here!
It scared me! I thought, "Wow. If the first one wasn't so bad, and the second one this bad, will the third and fourth be as bad?" I don't know!
I'm so lucky to be loved, though. My sister drove all the way in a terrible storm to deliver an excellent dinner, yesterday! Chicken with lime and curry and green olives. Rice with, I don't know what, but so good! And green beans with... I don't know what, but so good! And then this awesome salad with great greens, orange slices, nuts, goat cheese, and just yum! Plus, she made me a Christmas wreath with fishes in it! It is so cute! I will take a picture, later!
Speaking of pictures... I promised one of me in a wig. Thing is, I don't know how to take a picture of me! I'll try. I can't wait to go on a walk with my iphone, and go look at the full and lush river!
The storm here was so dark and ominous! It was a great couple days just to stay in bed and watch the outside.
Now, it's still and warm out, and the river is at bankfull. I'll put on my boots and slosh out there. There is nothing better than the Pacific Northwest the way it is supposed to be, in winter time. Warm, lush, wet, and full!
To feel no movement in the air after all the push and pull of the wind is exciting and new. The light is barely coming up, right now. I can't wait to see the changes the storm has made. The rearrangement of God's furniture, both by river and by wind.
I only hope my iphone has batteries, this morning. That way, I can take a Youtube of the river, and flash in on me, too, so you can see me bald to thinning, and then see me with a wig, too! I'm not shy! I'll show you what chemo can do! LOL
OK. I'm off with taking a video of the water saturated Kilchis Canyon. The water came up higher than it has in two years! It took away all my two year old maple leaves! Pix of me in my wig, to come!
Oh, yeah! And the Kwikfish winner will be announced, today!

Merry December 14th

OK, it's time to post me in a wig! I like it, because it looks like me. Honest to God, unless people are very kind, they are saying that they didn't even know. Especially, if they didn't know I had cancer. But, my post office angel was looking at me getting out of my car and said, "OK... I thought she said she was losing her hair!" So, here I am!

Time to write Christmas Cards!

You can click for bigger images.

So, what do you think? Is it alright? I wouldn't mind wearing it all the time, but they say that they fringe out at the bottom, where it rubs against your shoulders, so not to expect it to last long. I get a kick out of the fact it's made of monofilament! I couldn't afford the "real" hair option... and besides, these stay styled! You don't have to do anything but put it on, comb it thru, and go!
I'm kind of getting used to this! Lazy!
I crack up at Bill's new thing. I guess I complain a lot when I don't feel well, because his new utterance when I complain about feeling yucky is, "Pity, pity, pity..."
It cracks me up!
Now, do I look like pity? No! I'm happy!

Merry December 16th

Trying not to be miserable, but I just am. Still smiling, still laughing about it, but miserable!
I can barely walk and I can't button my shirts, play the piano, or type very well. But, nonetheless, I'm doing it! I refuse to let this take over.
I have been diagnosed with (I keep giggling because I keep thinking it's hoof and mouth) Hand and foot syndrome, or Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia. Isn't that a cool word? How do you say it? Erythro dysesth esia?
Note the symptoms: Severe pain. UH HUH! It's like I dipped my hands and feet in acid. I have these lesion like wounds all over, and my middle knuckles are all swollen and bright red. They are now blistering and breaking open. Yuck!
And wheelchairs just don't cut it out on the river and I want to fish! I'm going to hobble out there, anyhow, darn it. Put ice in my boots and go!
Have I told you how good cold feels? Oh my gosh! I went to town in the car, yesterday and the steering wheel was so cold! It was wonderful! I caressed it, held it, squeezed it! Giggle. And then, it got warm. I have heard of warmed steering wheels. How bout cold ones? Please?!
So, after I discovered the ice remedy, I grabbed two bags of frozen peas, and took them upstairs to bed. I lay them on a pillow, took off my socks and ah....! Wonderful! My feet felt GOOD for the first time in a couple days!
And here I thought I was breaking thru the yuckies of chemo. Just as I was losing the nausea and the lack of energy, this happened!
I guess it happens when you get too much chemo, or when the chemo breaks thru the small vessels and enters the fatty tissues of your hand and feet and burns the heck out of them! I mean it! They are fried! They look awful!
And last night I tried to take a bath. WRONG! Sheesh! I jumped out of that tub so quickly! My feet weren't so bad, but my hands just couldn't take even warm water! They sizzled!
How did this happen? Well, the other day my feet mysteriously hurt, so I went to lay down, take a load off, and decided to give myself a manicure. I just thought my feet were achy from, who knows what.
It was then that I noticed little blisters all over my cuticles and fingers. What the? By bedtime, my hands hurt so badly, and my feet weren't going to be doing any walking. I was miserable and called my doc. She confirmed what I had, and said we'd have to postpone or reduce my chemo, next time. I guess it happens with taxanes. (chemo medication I'm on.)
Yep. I was sicker than the first time. Way sicker! My mouth is like molting for the third time. It, too, is like a bad burn. And then you can't tell if something is overly salty, or overly hot, so you re injure yourself!
The thing that bothered me is this. When talking to my doc, I said that if this is the way it's going to be, I can't do it again. (What a spoiled brat.)
And she was so nice, that it made me feel really guilty. She said, "We aren't going to make you do go thru this again." Meaning, that she would reduce the dose.
I said, "Wait! I'm so sorry to come across like this. You aren't making me do anything! I am doing this to get well. It is my choice." and I apologized.
Here she is, doing all she can to heal me from cancer, and she thinks I feel that she is making me do this?! Argh. I felt awful. Of course she isn't going to make me do anything. This is my choice. I chose chemo. She is trying to help me. I have to remember that.
At the very least, tho, I'm glad I can laugh about it this new hoof and mouth affliction I have. :)
OK. Ice my boots, and off I go. I'm going to fish, darnit, come heck or iced peas.
Oh, no. I just thought about how the cork might feel in my hands? I'm supposed to avoid any friction. Like, if I have to fight a fish? The inside of my palms are the owiest, right now. Oh well, I'm going to try it.

Merry December 17th

Just hear those reels a singing, a zing zing zingeling, too!
Come on, it's lovely weather for a steelhead together with you!
The river is perfect! The weather is cold! My fingers are freezing , but shall I be bold?
Uh huh! I'm going back out!
You know, the river is a bit high, but not too bad. I find that if you find a spot in the river where your bobber floats along about walking speed, that's where you'll find your fish.
Of course, I've picked off a few in riffles or fast water, too, but more often, as soon as I find a consistent path where my bobber moseys along about walking speed, that's where the fish are.
Andante! They like that water, too! It's a good thing, because when it's cold out, it is such a relief after you cast out, to be able to fish longer, slower stretches and hide your hands in your pockets!
But, now that I think about it, is it because I'm actually "fishing" longer, or is it because they are holding in the flat water? I mean, my jig is actually out there for more time, when I'm fishing slower water.
I don't know what the truth is, or the reason, I guess, but fishing walking tempo water gets me into more fish.
This morning I was out in the way cold, fishing. I came in, due to freezing hands.
I have been sitting here warming up, catching up on ifish, and doing some legal work.
I was warming up, nicely, but thinking, "What is that awful smell?" I looked in the trash. I smelled the dogs. Nope. Can't find it.
I was about ready to go out, so I was thinking, "Where is my bait? Where is my rod?"
Eh hem.
I didn't have any fresh sand shrimp this morning, so I grabbed a container of D&G's frozen shrimp out of the freezer. I had no where to put them, as the container was too big, so I simply stuffed them down my coat.
Well, guess what? I stink.
They are still down my coat, but now nicely warmed.
Jennie, girl? You stink!
Just not right for a girl. Just not right.
And here I'm such a pretty thing, too. .

Merry December 18th

Holy Moly Lightning, Bat girl! I am LUCKY!
I was sitting here at the front window, doing computer work during a lightning storm. (Yeah, I'm not so smart, but how often does lightning....)
BAM! hit?
Sheesh louishe!
I couldn't believe it! Pretty lightning lit up the sky and just as I glanced up, the window sill? The long steel wire that holds up my bird feeder outside my window? Something zzzz like when you hook up a car battery wrong?! Like a foot from my hand! I felt it!
I jumped up... There had been this ball of fire about the size of a baseball that kind of rolled in the window, as it happened. So bizarre! Never seen anything like this!
I have Christmas lights on my monitor, plugged into my USB port, and they got blown off and behind the monitor!
Yet-- everything seems fine! Including me! I am so lucky!
You know, it goes to show. Here I have cancer. Here I've had an aortic dissection. All of those things could have killed me, and you'd think they might. But, lightning? You never think you'll go that way! But, I could have! All this fight against cancer, and all the yucky things you go thru, and focus on, totally, and yet your life can be taken by lightning, or getting hit by a truck, or falling on the river!
You just never know when it's your time to go! So, if there is a lesson in this, I guess we shouldn't focus on any one thing. Don't be worrying about a cancer diagnosis. Just live your life, because you never know which day it is that our Heavenly Father is going to beam you up!
Thank you, Lord, for this day! I'm going to make the very most of it, since you allowed me to make it thru that zap! Holy Moly I'm still in shock! (Literally!)

Merry December 22nd

Yikessssss! I don't even want to look at the date, let alone post it, here! Oh, my, but Christmas is soon!
I've told my kids over and over that Christmas won't be quite the same, this year.
They keep saying, "That's what you always say, Mum." But-- but-- REALLY!
You know, they are old enough to understand, right? WRONG! I'm not old enough to understand! Santa MUST bring stockings! There MUST be presents! I pride myself on picking the most thoughtful things out... except for this year!
I raised my kids to be kids at heart, forever and ever, amen!
(Yeah, yeah, I get it... don't put that back in my face, please!) But, it's true! Christmas has to happen and there is protocol, to be followed!
There must be sweet petals. (My Mom's cinnamon rolls) There must be stockings hung by the chimney with care, and they must have things in them that make people go "oooh" and "ahhh!". There must be a wonderful dinner. There must be wrapped presents under the tree! I don't care if there is anything in them! It just has to look festive!
Maybe I'll just scrunch up some wrapping paper and throw it under the tree. That way we can pretend we already opened presents!
Argh. Santa? Oh, great Santa in the sky? I need help!
Just like a woman once told me that she prays before shoe shopping, I am going to pray, today that I can get everything done despite the fact that I don't feel well and I have a doctor's appointment, today!
I went to Portland for two days, thinking I could get it all done. Ha! Joke! In between, I had a meeting, and then I only have so many hours in the day that I can drive. And then I had a family emergency. And then I got sick.
I did search the world over for one gift I couldn't find, anywhere. 'Sold out' were the two saddest words! I went to maybe 10 stores to find something and failed! Oh, Portland! You failed me!
So Santa didn't do well as Santa at all!
OK, I'm off to the races. Chemo or no chemo, sick or no, I must have stockings full of wonderment!
It reminds me so much of the stubborn girl I was, when I got out of the hospital with my aortic surgery six years ago. It was really near Christmas. (Days before, I believe) and it was in me that we had to have a perfect Christmas dinner.
So, there I was, weak as all get out, slumped over in my wheelchair with a cutting board in my lap, in the kitchen. I was trying so hard to prepare a beautiful Christmas dinner. Ever peeled potatoes, sitting in a wheelchair? Ha! If only I would have just said, "Go get turkey TV dinners" it would have been so much better! Instead, I ended up in tears in that chair, yelling at the kids to help, and... Well... Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from that memory.
Do they make pre made stockings, somewhere? :)
Off I go. Even if they did, we are past the shipping date!

Merry December 27th

We had a beautiful Christmas with my extended family in Portland. What a blessing it was!
Here's a peek at our family dinner.
I have such an awesome family! Before dinner, we all held hands (about 30 of us!) and my niece, Jamie, said the most wonderful prayer! The prayer was so incredibly touching that half of us, (mostly the girls) had to leave the table to go fix our eye makeup. (Yes, it was that touching!) We all left, half sobbing and half giggling that we all had to visit the powder room!
My Dad was able to attend, and what a blessing that was!
You know, Christmas morning was so hectic! In fact, all of Christmas seemed hectic this year.
With chemo, everything is an extra effort. I have this just bone tired feeling, and a head that doesn't work right! I swear, I have to think twice as hard for everything. The question always is, "What am I doing?" LOL.
Efficient, I'm not. Even Christmas shopping was incredibly difficult. I'd get to a store and think, "What am I doing? Is my wig on right? Can I make it up those stairs?" Everything. Everything requires extra thinking and extra energy! I'm fairly relieved it's over!
I got up Christmas morning about 6:30 AM and said to Bill, "You know we have to leave by 11?!" He said he was alright with that. Well, I wasn't!
I had breakfast to make, stockings still to stuff. (I mean, Santa had stockings to stuff, anyhow...) and even Christmas morning I was still finishing up with present wrapping!
Then, the normal dog walking and showers... all in that little time?
It was just hectic! And I kept losing things, and Andrew hadn't made the smoked salmon dip yet, and I couldn't figure out which dishes to use to display the appetizers on, and well? It was crazy!
We finally got in the car and left by 11:30 AM and we were only 10 minutes late for the gift exchange!
On the way there, the boys did their usual, "Do we really want to go?"
Yes. We are going! There was no doubt!
And by the time dinner was over, everyone was so glad we went! Our family is magical and I thank God for everyone in it!
I magically had energy that day and I don't know where it came from! People even noticed that I seemed very healthy and well! They said, "You don't seem sick!?!" I didn't feel sick!
I was blessed on Christmas Day with energy! It was the best present I could have asked for!
And in the gift exchange, I opened a present with gloves in it, with fingers long enough to fit my phalanges! That's rare! I so hoped no one would steal my present, and no one did! I love them and I wore them out on the river, yesterday! (Note my short wig!)
I had the best Christmas in the world, and I just really thank God! I hope that you did, too!
The only thing I missed, and I was so sad about this, was taking time out to go visit Bill's brother and wife. But, there just wasn't time. Bill was able to go yesterday, but I was so tired, I just couldn't imagine going to Portland on Christmas, the day after, and then again tomorrow, for chemo. (Yes, they are infusing me with more chemo tomorrow, and then one more time and I'm done!)
One of these years we must spend all of Christmas with Bill's side of the family! I would love that! But, this year, I'm so glad we did what we did, even though I missed seeing Bill's brother and family. It was an important year for my family.
I will try to keep up with this more often, now that the Christmas crazies are over!

Merry December 30th

Stan's column is up! I love stories about Bruce. :)

Bruce Holt has fished extensively all over the world. Here he is pictured with a beautiful peacock bass.

I'm also becoming excited about Peacock bass fishing. Dudley Nelson is going to be doing a bit of that, soon, so we are hearing more and more about it. Stan has always talked about it. Look in the archives! Read up!
I wonder, though, if like other bass, they fight a bit at the first, and then roll in like a log? LOL. Sorry. Had to ask?
There is just something about the continuous whirl, twirl, and cutting wake fan blade spins of a steelhead that tickle my fancy!
Chemo was two days ago, and I'm still upright. What's the deal with this? Usually I'm sicker than a dog. I'm not complaining! They reduced my dose by 15 percent, and I'm liking this, so far! I can still live! I may even go for a walk, today! Or... heaven forbid, fish? Is the river in shape? I saw two boats go up to the park. It must be fishable!
I woke up to a bit of stress, this morning, but a few prayers later, and I'm doing alright. Something must be wrong, here. Usually chemo has me down a bit, both physically and mentally, but this time? I'm balanced. Like, more than balanced. Thank you, dear Lord!
And, to boot, the sun is shining and the sky is bright blue! Not even that sickly blue that reminds me of surgeries in the winter! Wow!
Are you ready for the New Year? Just one more chemo treatment for me, and I am MORE than ready!
Oh! I have had more fun with my chickadees, this year. They are becoming fast friends. I gave them a scoop of peanut butter in their seeds, and they just adore it! It's never been busier! They get it on their little feety and have to stomp it off, right in front of me! Giggle! I love them so much! little chickadee!

Happy New Year's Eve!

The poison hits so hard, so fast! And there is no denying it! THIS is chemo. This is killing cells. This is trying to kill off part of me, and it's working!
It started when I tried to go for a walk. Every step home was a challenge.
Then, I went upstairs and tried to vacuum. I was out of breath and I coulda sworn the nice vacuum that Bill bought us wasn't the same one. Some cheapo thing that feels like I'm pushing a beached whale across the rug.
And that was it. No, not quite. I still tried. I went to the post office, and was (ha!) relieved I didn't have any mail to pick up! It would have been much too heavy, I'm sure.
I slogged into the door... kinda like that old man on Carol Burnett? Remember him? The one that took the tiny little steps? Yep. That's me on chemo.
So, Andrew says, "Can I help you?" I think I'm beyond help. "Chicken soup?" He knows the drill, now. Yep. Chicken soup.
That makes me feel loved. Always has. That's my 'sick' food ever since I was a small child, and my Mom would bring it to me. Chix soup and a lightly peanut buttered and jellied sandwich on white bread. Comfort.
I was freezing and nothing in the world was better than chicken soup and my wonderful Costco furry throw, --and my USIA warmies. My "sick" warmies. (I did not eat them, though! I wore them! LOL
I used to wear them for fishing, but lately, they are my sick clothes. When I'm cold. When I'm on chemo. When I eat chix soup, and lay in bed, helpless.
And that is where I stayed. I thanked God for Andrew over and over, yesterday. I thanked him to everyone who would listen. He was so sweet, bringing me chix soup and then iced drinks with lots of ice, and then something hot, again. Even a bowl of potato chips, just in case. (They still sit by my bed, though!) Potato chips aren't much good for a girl who is molting the skin in her mouth. Ouch! But, still, he's sweet, and I do thank God for him. I knew there was a reason he had to live here, while unemployed. He's a blessing to me, for sure.
David is sick, again, and that worries me. Not only for he, but for me. I have no resistance against his illness. Give me that cold, David! I'll take it, and I don't even want it!
My Motherly instinct of wanting to care for him has been lost on my own selfish needs. Andrew was running, yesterday, serving us all. Thank God for Andrew! Did I say that?
Bill cooked a wonderful piece of salmon for dinner. Springer, with bbq sauce, and pineapple. So, so good! Thank God for Bill!
I love my family.
I stayed in bed for a long time, dozing in and out, hot, then cold, and had terrible cramping in my feet and legs. I woke at 2 in the morning, and tried, (without any luck) to have a conversation with Bill. I was lonely! He wanted to sleep. (Why sleep at 2 in the morning? LOL)
I stayed up, not able to sleep. I caught up on the mod board. Probably the steroids that they give you with your chemo? I don't know... but about now, I'm wanting to go do it all over again. Sleep, cold, hungry...
Andrew? Chix soup?
I want to wish you a Happy New Year's!
I really do! Stay in touch with those you love. You never know what may come. Breast cancer, whatever... but give lots of hugs, thank God for your closest friends and family, and let them know you thank God for them! Call folks you haven't spoken to! And look forward to this coming year with all of the eagerness and positive thoughts you can dream of! Gather all of the love in your heart that you can muster and give it away freely!
This chemo shall pass. I have one more treatment... then either radiation, or now, they want me to have a total mastectomy. What a decision... They think the radiation may be too hard on me? I dunno. That's for later. Right now, all I can muster are thoughts of chix soup. No decisions today, thanks.
Just thanks be to God.
Thank God for my family.
They can make me Chix soup. :)
Oh! And I'm excited, too. Tomorrow, I have an extra sweet petals I made up on Christmas, just for New Years! I so hope I can manage to chew the nuts on top!