Hi People,

I had a wonderful week in Tyler with my Mom and Dad and Jan and Bill.  It was truly so very nice to finally be able to spend time with them.  I adored every second!  And already miss them!  Only bad thing was that Bill got a kidney stone the first night I was there, and it was a rough week for him.  I will post pics after I get them downloaded.

It’s going to be a busy week ahead….traveling to Houston for appointments on Wednesday and Thursday.  I will see Dr. Hosing and find out how I am doing post transplant.  I have several questions about graft verses host, my meds, etc.  Then I will see Dr. Huifang Lu in the Internal Medicine Center to find out what to do about my thinning bones.  I think this may be the result of chemo, prednisone, or both because I have never had this problem before.  Then I will have the dreaded bone marrow aspiration and biopsy.  I guess it’s not really that bad…just the soreness for several days afterward.  Actually my dear friend, Patti, who is a nurse in that department takes excellent care of me!  I love my Patti!  In fact Wade and I will have dinner with Patti and her husband Richard while we are there.  This has become a tradition that we enjoy.

Speaking of MD Anderson, a very sweet person named Lucy, who works in the communications department at MD Anderson and has been following my blog, asked if I would blog on the MDA Cancerwise blog.  This was pretty exciting for me to be asked to do that!  My first post went up last week.  I hope to keep blogging there in hopes of, in some small way, be of help and inspiration to others.  Here is the link if you would like to take a peek:  http://www2.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/2012/01/tips-for-newcomers-at-md-anderson.html  I hope to meet Lucy while I am there this week.

We will also see Kelli and Lynzi…yippee!  Really looking forward to that.  And to hopefully get to hang out with my friend Ernestine.  She and I went to dental hygiene school next door to MD Anderson, graduating in 1975 from The Univ. of Texas Dental Branch, School of Dental Hygiene.  Several of us would go eat lunch at the cafeteria at MDA because it was the closest, best place for lunch.  Who woulda thought we would be back 37 years later for other reasons!  It has been at least 20 years since we have seen each other.  Can’t wait!

Lastly, I’ve been intending to post a recipe that I didn’t get around to during my “12 Days of Christmas Cooking” on the blog, so here it is.  This Cal Dio rocks!  The recipe came from my daughter, Blaire, who got the recipe from her and Richie’s friend, Kim Caffey.  He lived a number of years in El Paso before moving back to Friona.  He was at Blaire and Richie’s Annual Christmas Morning Breakfast (which is truly awesome and amazing…we had Richie’s chicken fried pork chops, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, homemade cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy!)  so I snapped a pic and politely asked permission to post the recipe!  He said the original recipe calls for hamburger, but he uses sirloin steak.  I use either steak or a roast.  It is YUMMY…especially on a chilly day with flour tortillas.

                                                                                                                                   Blaire and Kim


3 lbs. cubed beef (steak or roast)

1 1/2 c. diced onion

bacon fat

2 cans stewed tomatoes

1/2 c. beef broth (I use 1 can)

1/2 c. chicken stock (again 1 can because we like it thinner)

1 1/2 c. chopped green chilies

2 tsp. salt (I start with a little less)

2 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. garlic salt

1 to 2 tsp. cumin (we like 2)

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed

Saute beef and onion in bacon fat.  Add everything else except potatoes.   Cook over low heat until meat is tender.  Add potatoes last 30 min. and cook until potatoes are done.

Serve with flour tortillas.

Makes 1 gallon


                                                                                                                                                                                 I’m in love wid ja 🙂


Music trivia question:  Do you remember who sang “Just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in”????  I thought of this song the last time I was on my way to see my Doctor and the words seemed extremely appropriate!  Scroll down for answer.  Click here to listen:   01 Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)

















The First Edition which then became Kenny Rogers and the First Edition!  Crazy!


06 From Here to the Moon and Back  Joyce, this song is for you and your grandson, Dallas!  (Just click on the blue song title!)  Round of chemo is done!  Monte took me Thursday and Joyce took me on Friday.  What a huge difference it made to be helped with getting my chemo!  Ladies, you both mean so much to me and I love you!  Monte and I go back to my San Antonio and Boerne days, and Joyce and I go back to my high school days and working with her at Dr. Roden’s office as a D.E. student!  It is one of those things that no matter how much time has passed, our friendship is still the same if not better! Thank you both for taking such good care of me! Here is a pic of me and Joyce.

I love you Joycie!

One of the coolest things about my journey has been reconnecting with friends and relatives, and making lots of new friends….a totally awesome thing.  So many positive things can come from something not quite so lovely!  We must keep our eyes open, never look down, and always look for the good!


Only 2 more days of chemo left this week… Monte is taking me today!  Yay!  This round is kicking my butt (AKA my boney ass)!  I am experiencing what is known as Cancer Related Fatigue.  While I was living in Houston, I saw an Occupational Therapist in the PT department to learn how to deal with this fatigue.  I think it is worse this time because of my other issues going on right now.  Here are a few facts about Cancer Related Fatigue.  It can be caused by a number of things…. cancer, chemo, radiation, drugs, sleep disorders, emotional distress, just to name a few.   Here is the thing:  after periods of rest, the fatigue still remains and can even become worse.  This greatly affects your Activities of Daily Living (ADL).  Here is how it affects me.  I carried in a few light weight bags of groceries Tuesday from the car and it felt like those bags weighed about 50 pounds apiece and I felt like it was iffy if I could make the few steps into the house!  Also, after walking a few steps, my legs are burning and feel extremely tired.  The prednisone I am on contributes to my Cancer Related Fatigue.   I have an energy “bank” that I pull energy from for my daily activites, remembering that when its gone, I’m done.  The way to deal with this is to 1)  Prioritize activies and use the energy for things I really want to do.  2) Pace myself.  Stop and rest before I begin to feel tired.  3) Plan and organize, alternating hard tasks with easier tasks. 4) Positioning.  Sit when possible, avoid reaching and bending.  I have this interesting chart that compares different activies and the amount of energy that is required to perform the activity.  One that really shocked me is that a standing hot shower uses the same amount of energy as roller skating, mowing your lawn, or washing the car!  Bizzarre huh!?!  I think I have mentioned this before in a previous blog, but MD Anderson has “The Place…of Wellness”  and they enhance cancer patients’ quality of life (including Cancer Related Fatigue) through yoga, tai chi, art, guided imagery, nutrition classes, music therapy, massage, cooking demonstrations, and meditation.  I think they actually offer more than 75 programs!  Isn’t that the coolest thing!!!!!  MD Anderson is an amazing cancer center that offers treatment for any and every possible thing that can happen to a cancer patient….that’s only one of the reasons why it is the number one cancer center!


Here I am with my beautiful grandchildren!  Oh how I love love love them!  They are adorable and make my heart sing!


Yesterday I decided to make homemade pizza for lunch and I used Lidia Bastianich’s dough recipe.  Then I used some stuff I had on hand for toppings…sliced campari tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and parmesan baked until nice and bubbly.  When it came out of the oven I threw on some proscuitto and arugula.  This was a great pizza!  And then it was still good for breakfast this morning heated up with a poached egg on top!  Lidia has several good Italian cookbooks out, a PBS television show, and a new grocery store in NYC called Eataly NYC.  Rosanna said this is an amazing store, that you can get anything and everything Italian in this store just as if you were in Italy.  When I was in Houston a year ago getting chemo, Ms. Bastianich was signing her cookbooks at my favorite Houston grocery store. I drove like a wild woman – in traffic- to get there before she left!  It was cool to meet her.  Here is a pic of my rustic margherita pizza with proscuitto and arugula.

Wishing all of you a great week!



Hope all of you had a great New Year’s weekend!  I intended to blog a Happy New Year to everyone, but didn’t get it done!  I hope you all have a happy, prosperous, full of good surprises kind of a year!  I am sure that 2012 is going to be a much better year for me!  I am not making any “resolutions” because I always seem to lose interest eventually and break my resolutions.  So this year I have a few things on my mind that I am going to work on, hoping to be more successful than in years passed!

Today’s Doctor appointment made me realize that I need to hook back up with my “I’m going to fake it til I make it” motto…..I have Graft vs Host Disease showing up again.  This is more of a problem when you have an unrelated donor.  This time in my gum tissue (wouldn’t you know it since I’m a dental hygienist!), and GI tract, which Dr. Ravipati said is GVHD.   I have also developed mild acne, painful lips, and very sensitive teeth which she says is not GVHD.  I have appointments in Houston at MD Anderson on Feb. 1st for a bone marrow biopsy, an appointment in Internal Medicine (I don’t know what they are doing here), and an appointment with Dr. Hosing.  All next week I will be taking another round of chemo.  On a lighter note, my hair has grown alot!  It’s probably 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, curly, 2 or 3 different colors, and feels very soft and fuzzy.  Some of it sticks straight up!  Everybody wants to touch it and see what it feels like!

Here is my thought for today:  Even in times of complicated or difficult events in our lives, we must always look for the good things and be grateful!