Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Now I can write

Friends, I enjoyed, rejoiced and celebrated HE in a way that is still giving me the chills. I felt so much love and I was able to return that love. I will always be grateful. I could feel you all with me and if love were a color this house would still saturated.

Thank you all for your presence in my life. Thank you, thank you.

Oh, and FYI if I haven't told you already Dr. Kimball says passing should be very gentle, that my heart till just stop. I feel comforted by that fact.

Love you all and I'll try to write more tomorrow.

Love, R

Grace

I believe that I am living in a state of grace at this moment. I could write pages on how this feels and how it affects my perception but I am far too inarticulate to give it justice. My spirit feels so light and blessed. Thank you all for everything.

Tonight's HE will be glorious and I hope you will all join me in spirit.

Love, Roseann

ps to Doug, Gary has the tiger for you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Holy Eucharist

Tomorrow night at 6 I will be blessed to have my last eucharist before I'm given final rights. I am so happy and excited about this. It looks like we'll have over 100 people here which means our tiny house will have to use front porch overflow. I can't wait to celebrate with people I love. Sharing the body and blood is the ultimate meal of love. I can't begin to explain the peace and love of God surrounding me and Gary. You are all a part of that. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Love, Roseann

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hey Doug

Please call me. Love, R

11/10 6 pm cst

On Tuesday night Teri is bringing a group of people from St Pete's to celebrate Eucharist with me. I would like as many of you as can celebrate with us where ever you are. Right now I feel okay, weak and tired but okay. I don't know how things will progress so I am taking advantage of every lucid moment when I feel like company. There were almost too many people today but it was all good. It is a really holy moment when you can look someone in the eye and thank them for their love, support and place in your life. Please imagine in your mind's eye that I am doing that with you right now.

Love, Roseann




Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hello friends

Sorry I've been lax in posting but I haven't felt good lately. Gary has to have surgery again on Monday and fortunately we have family here to help us. Our church family has been great too. We got a huge basket of food all homemade to get us through this latest crisis. I'll be starting physical therapy soon so hopefully I'll be gaining muscle strength.

Thanks for all the prayers and kind words. You're all in my prayers. Love, Roseann

Friday, October 2, 2009

Surgery

On Monday the 12th, I will have vein graft surgery. This is being done for dialysis purposes. I don't want to do it, there is significant risk of bleeding and clotting, but my doc is insisting. With the catheter I have now the risk of infection is great. It is not a matter of IF and infection but WHEN. So what's a girl to do.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Biggest Asshat

Who is the biggest asshat? Kanye West, Serena Williams or Rep. Joe Wilson. Vote here!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Comment on a YouTube video of Jimi Hendrix playing Voodoo Child at Woodstock: I have to see this guy live, any idea if he is touring the UK again any time soon? hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Church

Well, I made it through the sermon and then I had to leave. My body is so fragile that sitting in the wooden pew was killing me, I hurt all over. Next time I will take some pillows. It was also very, very emotional for me. When I first got there I walked through the columbarium and saw the markers for my friends who had died since I'd last been there. One of them really touched me and brought me to tears. Dr. Dickey Hendrickson always wore bow ties and his marker had his name, the dates and a bow tie on it. For some reason that just got all over me and I burst into tears. Then I saw my friend in the Narthex who is fighting ovarian cancer. It has spread to her liver and her brain but she was smiling and happy to see me. We laughed at how skinny we both are now. We both used to be pretty hefty girls. She is a nuclear physicist who helped with the cleanup at Chernobyl which is probably where she got cancer. A hero and I admire her so much.

So, it was good and just okay. I cried all the way home. My emotions were just overflowing for so many reasons. Terri is a good preacher and I can't wait to hear her again.

I love you all and pray for you daily. Love, R

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just stuff

Yesterday my priest Terri came to visit. I like her so much. She is easy to talk to and I can be just totally open and honest. Like when she told me someone asked her to ask me if they could come visit and I said no. The person is an energy vampire and I can't handle her right now, or probably ever. Terri actually giggled when I said no. I shared an experience I'd had with the woman and she understood. Sometimes you have to forgive people and then keep them as far away as possible.

I'm going to go to church Sunday. My friend Kim is meeting me in the Narthex at 10:15 and she promised she would stop people from trying to hug me. Don't get me wrong, I love hugs, it is just that I'm a little fragile right now and bruise easily. I'm very excited to be going to church. Terri said she expected a rather low turnout being a holiday weekend but I wouldn't care if it was just me and Kim.

Razorback opening game is tomorrow. Go Hogs!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Is it worth discussing?

I've always heard the axiom to never discuss politics or religion. This is law in my family and I believe it is because they absolutely can not justify their positions on anything. They can regurgitate what they hear from their pastors or talk radio but they can not cogently express themselves as to why they believe what they believe.

I like wild unfettered and opinionated debate. I want you to put up or shut up. Give me some facts. Do your dead level best to persuade me because that is what I'm going to do to you. I expect dignity and respect to go along with spirited debated unless you act like a donkey and then I'll tell you you're an ass.

To just avoid conversation or even confrontation is just cowardice. What does it say in scripture about spitting out the lukewarm? That's how I feel about it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

One step back

I was starting to feel kind of good. I was able to go visit some friends and do some cooking and stuff around the house. Then this morning I woke up all swollen from the neck up. My dialysis nurses had no idea what was causing it and gave me a laundry list of possibilities... allergies, drug interactions, etc.

This is what wears me down the most. I start to feel better and then I get kicked in the head again. I think God is pissed at me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Wiener Mobile

I just saw a picture of the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile on MP's blog. There are a few things that make me laugh out loud every single time I see them and the wiener mobile is one of them. In my perfect world everyone drives a vehicle that looks like some sort of lunch meat or vegetable. Sports cars would be lunch meats. Big, comfortable sedans would be vegetables. Prius and Smart Cars would be baby patty pan squash.

I think I've had too many drugs this morning.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pat from Benton

If you're out there please get in touch. I miss you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Sunday y'all

I'm starting to feel like a human bean again. Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen and today I'm doing a little laundry. I can't get the wet stuff out of the washer and into the dryer so Gary will have to do that part. I'm not coughing as much and my appetite is strong.

My dear friend and evil twin Sue's brother is a little better. Isn't prayer a wonderful thing. I believe in the concept of inter-being. We're all connected with all of creation and when we put forth healing, positive energy it works. There are all kinds of healings and I know we don't see all of them on this earth but I believe with all my heart that they happen.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Saturday ramblings

Once a year I buy Vogue magazine. The September issue aka The Book. This year, in deference to the economy I suppose, the book is about 200 pages less than last years. The fashion artistry is just beautiful. Of course, some of it is ridiculous like the 8 inch high heels. That is not fashion that is fetish. My favorite editorial was the current looks that are reminiscent of the 1940s. It is a wonderful reinterpretation of that glamour. Even in the wars years the women did so much to look sharp and put together. My mom told me they used to draw lines up the backs of their legs so it would look like they were wearing stockings.

I love art of all types. I so admire people who can write a poem, paint a picture, carve sculpture and create beautiful meals. I am a pretty good cook. I have my specialties and I've had some failures that were just astronomical. I like to watch the cooking competition shows on Food Network. Th cake and sugar artistry just blows me away. I'm also a big fan of Top Chef and Iron Chef American. Kind of crazy to watch people make this fabulous food you can't taste or smell but they are artists and masters at work.

Random thoughts about today

Yesterday my priest called just to see how I was doing. She's coming to see me next week to bring me communion. I know St Peter's is not as big as the cathedral but they also have a much smaller staff who seem to get more done in the the area of pastoral care. I guess it is a matter of priorities.

I want to go to the art store and but a zillion new colored pencils. I know it is kind of goofy for a 55 year old woman to be coloring in coloring books but they are quite beautiful and it is so relaxing. My artistic talents are very limited. I can't draw a stick figure but I seem to be pretty good at mixing colors and letting beautiful patterns evolve. Oh, and I can stay in the lines.

My brother and his wife came to see me yesterday. His wife is pretty fired up that I can't get any help around the house. Housekeepers here want anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour. I will admit I think housekeeping is worth that but I can't afford it. She's going to try to pull something out of her bag of tricks to get me some help. You can't get any assistance paid by Medicare or Medicaid unless you're 65 or over. Doesn't matter how sick you are, that is the arbitrary cut off point.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home again

I just got home from the hospital and man oh man am I glad to be here! I'm up on my couch nesting with the wiener dogs. I still have some congestion in my lungs but Dr Kimball loaded me up with drugs and inhalers and everything I need to get rid of this crud. Great news, the feeding tube is removed. I'm FREE again! ha!

My new priest at St. Peter's came to see me twice and I really like her a lot. We had an instant and deep ability to communicate and I feel like I can trust her.

Thanks everyone for the prayers and emails. They mean so much. Love, R

Friday, August 14, 2009

You fall out of your mother's womb, you crawl across open country under fire, and drop into your grave. - Quentin Crisp

The good news is the vein study went well. It hurt like a bitch but at least everything was okay. The bad news is I have bronchitis and an hardly breathe. Story of my life. One step forward and one step back.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A wonderful thing

I got home from dialysis this morning and I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach and in a bad funk. Tomorrow I have to go have the vein study and I'm a bit worked up about it. So I was just sitting around feeling rather sorry when I got a wonderful phone call.

I told you all that I had transferred our membership back to St. Peter's. I was confirmed there, my husband was confirmed there and we were married there. It is my one real church home. The people there love me warts and all. And I love them.

So, the phone rings and it is the priest at St. Peter's. She is coming to see me next week and bringing me communion. I am just so very happy about that!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

There's nothing like a silly wiener dog to cheer you up

Thank you

Thank you for the prayers and kind words. I don't know what brought on this spell of darkness. Maybe I'm just tired. I'm doing my best though and I'm sure I'll be back to my wacky self soon.

Love and prayers for all, Roseann

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It is dark today

It is dark in my soul today.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Drive Bobby McFerrin

Dialysis fun

Dialysis isn't bad. It doesn't hurt and the worst thing about it is you get freezing cold during the process. I take it back, the worst thing about it is if you aren't asleep you get bored to tears. I can lie still, hooked up to the feeding tube for 8 to 10 hours a day and I'm fine. I'm in my nest with my wiener dogs and satanic kitties. I can color mandalas, read, play on my computer and sometimes watch a little TV. The good thing is my dialysis center is a nice place with friendly, professional people working there.

Probably the hardest thing about dialysis is occasionally there will be a patient who is a little out of their mind. They tend to talk to Jesus in a very loud voice. I wish that Jesus would tell them to talk a little softer but so far he's keeping out of it. Finally one day I just couldn't take it anymore and I told the woman, who was in the bed next to me, that I had just talked to Jesus and he wanted her to go to sleep now. It worked. She calmed right down and went off to sleep. I hope Jesus doesn't mind that I spoke for him.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You ate what?

Food, glorious food. One of the few advantages of my condition is they want me to get as many calories in as possible. The anti-diet. So this morning I had a Butterfinger for my pre-breakfast snack. Damn good. I also totally get the Hobbit's concept of second breakfast. Somedays I just can't eat but when I can I really pack it in.

I love you all and you're in my prayers, Roseann

p.s. John Dawid rocks like a big dog!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oh, honey! What's wrong?

Let me tell you, when in my state the first words you hear in the morning from your beloved are, "Oh honey! What's wrong?" it is most disconcerting. My head and neck were swollen like never before. I didn't just look like a chipmunk on crack, I looked like a herd of chipmunks on crack.

I went to dialysis and they took one look at me and wanted to send me to the ER but since I could breathe okay they went ahead and hooked me up. 3.5 liters of fluid later the swelling had gone down significantly. My nephrologist, the amazing Dr. Kimball decided to set me up for a veinogram so they can determine if there is some sort of blockage with the catheter going into my heart. I'll have this procedure done on Thursday.

In the meantime I kind of look like Cartman, so respect my authoritie!

Love and prayers to you all, Roseann

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grillades and Grits

I've heard this was a breakfast dish made for the men before they went out hunting. I serve it at brunches, well when I had brunches and often for dinner. It is Creole at its finest. And make the grits! Even if you think you don't like them make some creamy white grits. Quick grits are okay instant grits are not.

Grillades & Grits Recipe

2 lbs Round Steak
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ Cup A.P. Flour
1.4 tspn pepper

1 tspn dried thyme

4 tbls unsalted butter
1 Medium Onions, Chopped
1 Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Ribs Celery, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Cups
Beef Stock
3 Tbsp
Worcestershire Sauce
2 Cups Tomatoes, Chopped or 1 14.5 ounce can

Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Recipe of Grits made according to the Package Instructions

Pound the Round Steak on both sides to about ½ inch thickness, then cut into 4 inch squares. Season the Grillades with the salt & pepper. Combine the flour, cayenne pepper and thyme then dip the Grillades one at a time into the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat 2 tbl butter over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Brown the Grillades well on both sides without burning. Transfer the Grillades to a plate. Melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the Onions, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Garlic and, stirring frequently, cook until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Add the remaining flour to the vegetables and stir for a few minutes to remove the floury taste. Stir in the Beef Stock, Worcestershire, Tomatoes; bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the Grillades and the accumulated juice from the plate back to the pot. Submerge the Grillades in the sauce and simmer for about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until they are very tender.

Serve over grits.

Gillaades is pronounced GREE-ahdes.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daily Meditation

I am Resurrection and I am Life, says the Lord.
Whoever has faith in me shall have life,
even though he die.
And everyone who has life,
and has committed himself to me in faith,
shall not die for ever.

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives
and that at the last he will stand upon the earth.
After my awaking, he will raise me up;
and in my body I shall see God.
I myself shall see, and my eyes behold him
who is my friend and not a stranger.

For none of us has life in himself,
and none becomes his own master when he dies.
For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord,
and if we die, we die in the Lord.
So, then, whether we live or die,
we are the Lord's possession.


I've been meditating on these words. I guess when death seems to be sitting in the room with you, watching and waiting, these are good words to drive away any fear. Whether I live or die, I am the Lord's possession.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy, happy, joy, joy

I woke up happy today. No special reason. My life is shit but I'm funky.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jumpin' Jive

Well, it is done

I just got off the phone with St. Peter's, my old home parish, and they are just thrilled that Gary and I want to move our membership back. I talked to a lady named Beth and I could feel the smile in her voice. I told her I had no expectations of pastoral care since I live so far away but the priest does come down to Little Rock to visit people in the hospital and will come by to see me.

I have tears in my eyes right now. Going home, even when I can't be there physically, feels so good.

St. Peter's is the place where I really learned what it meant to be in relationship with God. I was allowed to explore my faith, ask questions, get answers, get no answers, and be involved in ministry. If I saw a need that I thought St. Peter's could respond to I didn't have to go through a million committees. All I had to do was go to the priest with my plan and I was sent off to respond with blessings and support.

I always had a deep response to John 20:21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."

I hope that doesn't sound arrogant because I certainly don't think I'm anything special. It has always resonated deeply with me that we are to love one another and love is action. Sometimes still quiet action and sometimes bold action.

Cats

Cat people, please don't hate me for this but I've decided I'm just not a cat person. I have two cats, Lucy who is 16 and Skitter who is 14. They have decided to make my life even more miserable. They yak up something everyday and not in one place. Oh no, they have to yak in 3 or 4 different spots. And Lucy has decided she doesn't want to poop in the litter box. Near it, just not in it. I think they hate me.

Wiener dogs love me and hang out with me and don't yak and do their business where they are supposed to. They are relentless beggars if I have food but they love me even if I don't.

Dogs rule.

Bless you my friends

Thanks for all the nice comments. I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear from you. I spend most of my time hooked up to machines and I get really lonely, especially when Gary is at work.

Saturday night two of my best friends came to town for a movie and they stopped by Whole Foods to check in with Gary and see how we're both doing. He wanted to go to Conway on Sunday afternoon to visit but I just couldn't do it. Sometimes when I wake up I look like a chipmunk on crack LOL! My cheeks and eyes swell up from excess fluid. Not that I'm vain (ahem) but who wants to go out in public looking like that?

One day this journey will end. For good or not, it will end. The wheel always turns and life goes on to its inevitable conclusion. In the mean time I just try to take each day as it comes and do what I can to feel some sense of normalcy.

Last night I made a squash casserole that is awesome. Gary at 1/2 of it! Here's the recipe.

4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion or shallot
Put the squash and onion in a pan with 2 inches of water and steam for 10 minutes. Drain well.
Crush 35 Ritz-type crackers and mix with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Put the squash/onion mixture in a large bowl and add 1/2 the cracker crumb mixture.
In a small bowl mix 3/4 cup milk, 2 eggs and 1/4 cup melted butter. Add to squash mixture.
Spread in a 9x13 pan and top with the rest of the cracker crumb mixture.
Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Love you all and you're in my prayers always, Roseann

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Comfort food

I love soup. It is the ultimate comfort food for me. Here's a recipe for Cauliflower soup. It is easy and very yummy.

Chop up a head of cauliflower and cook it in chicken broth with a little salt and pepper. Then blend it up using a hand blender or a regular blender. Make sure you get it smooth and silky. If you use a regular blender be very careful! Hold the lid on with a towel so it doesn't send hot stuff all over you and your kitchen. Stir in shredded cheddar cheese and about a 1/2 cup of cream. It is real comfort food.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just rolling along

I spend about 6 hours each day connected to a feeding tube. Boring? There are no words for how boring it is! I find ways to stay mentally stimulated. Coloring mandalas helps me so much. My mind empties of all the worries and I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me and comforting me. I read a lot. Some trash novels... a little mind candy never hurt anyone. I'm also reading Jane Redmont's book which I highly recommend to everyone. I pray for everyone on the MP prayer list and for my family and friends. I play goofy games on Facebook. Sometimes I watch TV. I love Deadliest Catch and Whale Wars. Last night I watched a show about Robert Louis Stevenson and how he researched Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Then I watched a bizarre show about vampires and these pitiful people who think they really are vampires.

I'm having trouble with my arms again. The blood flow in my upper body is inadequate because of the dialysis catheter. Sometimes they hurt so bad that I have to take a pain pill. I don't like being in a drug fog so I tough it out as much as I can.

Yesterday I managed to make a yummy pot roast with vegetables. When Gary got home from work the house was filled with delicious cooking smells and that made him so happy. Making him happy is high on my list of things to do. I'm gaining more energy because I'm getting more nutrition so I do what I can to help. I'm able to help with laundry now, folding and hanging. Just being able to do that little bit to help him makes us both feel good.

I've decided to transfer my membership to my old home parish. It is 30 miles away and who knows when I'll be able to get there. I feel so abandoned by my current parish. Not one clergy has called, emailed or visited much less bring me communion. It is a bad fit for me so it is time to make a move.

I love you all and you're in my prayers.

Love, Roseann

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Night terrors

I was a little late hooking up the feeding tube yesterday so I slept on the couch so I could get al the nutrition in. In the middle of the night the alarm indicating the bag was empty went off. It was like an air raid siren and scared the living daylights out of me! I yelled for Gary, "help me! help me!" and scared the living daylights out of him too. If I had just turned around I would have known what to do but I was asleep damnit and it scared me! LOL!

Ah, life in the fast lane surely make you lose your mind.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thunder and rain

This is one of my favorite types of days. Thunder, rain, nothing violent like strong winds, hail or tornados. Just that sound of the rain with occasional rumblings. This is a day when I can relax and read and color mandalas.

Mandalas, from the Sanskrit word for circle, are a Hindu and Buddhist symbol that represents the universe and its energy. I use them for meditative purposes by coloring them with my colored pencils. I lose my self in the patterns and colors. I don't make decisions just reach into my bag of pencils and let it happen.

Let it happen is where my energy is taking me. Everything has been so up and down, 1 step forward then 2 back. I have no control, no say so over what is happening. I dont know where this journey is leading me or where I will end up. I love God and I trust in God, not that I know for sure what that means.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Broken heart

My arms are swelling again. I had a good day yesterday and today I am in a lot of pain. Mostly my heart is breaking for Gary. When will this suffering end?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Feeling better

Well it has been a wild week. I went to dialysis Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and I'm feeling a little better now. On Tues I was transfused with 2 pints of blood. A person waiting, hoping for a kidney transplant never wants a transfusion because it builds up antibodies in your blood that make it harder to find a donor. However, being so anemic you can't walk across a room is not desirable either.

I saw my nephrologist today and he told me how worried he had been earlier this week. He's a good guy who really cares about his patients. The swelling in my arms has gone down about 75% and he expects the rest will go by the end of next week. I just keep on keepin' on.

Names I wish I had never heard:
Perez Hilton
Paris Hilton
Brittany Spears
Jessica Simpson

I just hate it that I know anything at all about those people!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update

Well, I'm on another roller coaster ride. My blood pressure has dropped so low that dialysis isn't working. My arms are swollen to twice their size and I'm having respiratory and heart issues. I'm going to have another dialysis tomorrow where they just pull off fluid. My nephrologist is really concerned but being at home makes me feel better than being in the hospital. Gary is having a hard time with all this because I keep spiraling downward. Please keep him in your prayers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pain and frustration

Friends, I know this journey of mine is a boring tale. It bores me for sure. It has been almost 2 years since I got so sick and during that time it has been more ups and downs than a roller coaster. I try not to give in to self pity and I try almost every day to be positive and work at wellness. I say almost every day because some days I stay in bed with the covers over my head and whine and cry and ask God why me over and over.

There is something that happens often that I want to share. When I am most afraid, frustrated and in pain, at some point I am overwhelmed with peace. I have these moments of grace that keep me going one more day. Sometimes it is minute by minute. I know there are people who pray for me and I believe those prayers overflow in those moments of grace.

I'm not getting better. Physically I don't believe I will heal. Each week seems to bring a new break down of some sort in my body. To be honest, I am ready to shed this flesh. I will when I will though.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home Dialysis

I've had some questions about home dialysis and it is not an option for me. First off, I'd have to get rid of my dogs and cats. Second, it is more time consuming in the long run. Most importantly it doesn't clean the blood as well as hemodialysis does.

Are you taking me home now?

Wednesday was a really bad day. They couldn't get an IV started because of my little tiny roly-poly veins. So they had to put in the new permacath with no sedation. Good husband Gary had a feeling something wouldn't go right so he brought me a double dose of pain med and I was able to sleep through most of dialysis.

Then the real fun began. My blood pressure dropped to 60 over 35. Is that dead? No, but damned close. I couldn't even talk. The had to put in almost as much saline as the fluid they'd removed.

They usually don't let family members stay with you in the dialysis room but they let Gary stay. Frankly I think his being there kept me alive. He held my hand and I could feel his energy. I could also feel prayer. I don't know if anyone was praying for me at that specific moment, I just know I could feel God's presence. At one point I said, "are you taking me home now?" And Gary and the nurse were like, "what?????" I didn't mean to say that out loud.

Good news is I'm home now, drugged sufficiently and full of chicken and dumplings.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thanks everyone

Your prayers and kind words mean so much to me. I just don't know what is going to happen but I guess none of us ever do. It is so hard to want to live when I am this sick. I broke down and cried yesterday. I want my mommy, I want to feel good, I want to walk in the grocery store instead of ride the go-cart thing. I want to whine and cry and pitch a fit because that always makes things better, right?

Thanks for listening to me and praying for me. When I get well I'll have a big bar-b-q and you're all invited.

Love, R

Monday, July 6, 2009

Health declining

I am now having problems with blood clots. I couldn't do dialysis today because of blood clots in my catheter. At least they sent me home from the hospital as there is nothing they can do and I'm more comfortable at home.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Get this book

When In Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life by Jane Redmont. This book is so spirit renewing!

I'm riding the health roller coaster again. Had some tests done and should get the results today. Hopefully I won't have to go back to the hospital. I'm having a hard time keeping my chin up right now. Gary has gone back to work which is great. I miss him so much though. Poor baby me, can't stand to be away from him for 8 hours. LOL It is probably really good for him though to be away from me and around healthy people.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How are things?

Gary is doing very, very well. In fact I'm having a hard time getting him to just relax. I don't want him wiggling around so much while the shoulder is knitting back together. Anyone have a sledge hammer I can borrow? ha!

Yesterday I made his favorite dinner for him. Slow roasted brisket, mashed potatoes, and fried squash. I will share my brisket recipe that my old friend Robert gave me.

Set oven temp to 275
Get at least a 5 lb brisket with the fat cap still on. I've cooked a 9 pounder before for a party but I recommend at least 5 lbs.
Cut a piece of heavy duty foil that is big enough to completely wrap the brisket. Use a pan big enough to hold the brisket once it is ready and sealed up in the foil. If you're doing a really big one you can use a roaster, seal the top with foil and then put on the lid.

Slather the brisket generously with Dijon mustard. Place fat cap side up on the foil. Generously sprinkle the top with kosher salt and black pepper. Chop up 3 or 4 garlic cloves and sprikle them on top. Douse generously with Worcestershire sauce and Soy sauce. Don't be shy, the gravy this makes is just knock out.

Seal the brisket up tightly in the foil. Roast at 275 for one hour per pound. If you use a brisket smaller than 5 lbs roast at least 4 hours.

Your house will slowly be permeated with the most mouth watering aroma!!

Let the brisket rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

I have one of those fancy gravy pitchers that lets the fat go to the top so you pour just the incredible juice. It is important to leave the fat cap on the brisket before cooking to help make the roast tender. And man oh man is it tender.

I have to eat a lot of red meat to keep my protein levels up. If you don't eat red meat often this is a great recipe for when you want some. Brisket is cheap and you'll love the flavor.

So back to how are things. Being able to cook again is a big deal for me. I still have to sit down a lot or take a break in the middle of cooking so I'm sticking with things I can leave and come back to later. The main thing is I'm getting up and moving around more and more. That is helping my energy level increase.

I've been praying for all of you. It is an honor to do so. I appreciate all the prayers you've sent for me and Gary. God bless you all. Love, R

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gary Update

I just talked to Gary's surgeon and everything went really well. They put a pain blocker in his shoulder so he didn't have to be put deeply under and he's waking up now. I'll bring him home in about an hour.

Thank you so much everyone for all the prayers. You're the best!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I went to the grocery store by myself. I've got a nice rolled roast in the oven. I'm tired now but feeling good. I'm kind of anxious about Gary's surgery tomorrow but John D told me he would come down and help me if needed. It is good to have a safety net. It is good to have friends.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

3 more weeks

3 more weeks and I get this feeding tube removed. It has helped and I'm ready for it to be gone!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

M****le W**p Clarification

M****le W**p is a sin and an abomination. If you eat it you will spend extra time in purgatory. If you prefer it over Hellman's you will go to hell. That is all.

Hammer Pants Dance

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mayonnaise

I was just reading the current issue of Oxford American and there is a recipe for Pimento Cheese. Bad enough that the author uses sage and (gag) yard onions, but to make it truly awful he uses Duke's mayonnaise.

I just want to make this clear. If you must use store bought mayonnaise Hellman's is the only acceptable brand. Anything else is just swill. You might as well use Kraft or (double gag) Miracle Whip.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blackies Recipe

These are Gary's favorite Brownies. They're made with dark chocolate cocoa so they come out black instead of brown. They're very rich, buttery and chocolaty. The ultimate! We get our dark chocolate cocoa at Whole Foods. Hershy's makes a dark chocolate cocoa that is available at conventional grocery stores.

Ingredients

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Special equipment: An 8-inch square baking pan

The original recipe said to line the pan with parchment or foil but we found the finished product stuck so we use pan release (PAM) and it works great.


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. (Be sure the heat is not over 325)

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. We just use a regular double-boiler. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Magnificat King's College Choir

Gary Update

Gary's surgery is scheduled for June 12th. Please keep us both in your prayers.

Thanks!

Love, R

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A must read

http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh/politics/2009/05/31/george_tiller_murdered/

On the murder of Dr Tiller

Number 200

This is my 200th post to my blog. Not a lot in the grand scheme of blogging, but a milestone for me.

A wonderful thing happened to me on Facebook yesterday. An old college friend found me and renewing that friendship led to even more college buddies. I've been having such a good time catching up with people. One pal lives on an island in the Gulf of Mexico about 10 miles out from Corpus Christi. Poor guy has to hit the beach every day! It was such a joy to me that he is well and happy.

One thing about catching up with folks you haven't talked to in 25-30 years is you get good and sad news. It is not easy for me to tell people my life is all about getting well at the moment and I'm sure it is not easy for them to tell me some of the things they have. What is wonderful though is the opportunity to share.

Telling our story can be hard work sometimes. We all have a story though and I want to know what they want to share. My prayer list is getting longer for sure. My gratitude list is getting even longer!

I want to thank all my readers, commenters and lurkers for taking the time to share my story. I thank you for your prayers and kindness. 

Love, Roseann

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rings and things

I seem to be troubled with nausea again. It is hard to eat and I have to just rely on the feeding tube. I can tell I'm losing weight again because my rings are just flopping around on my finger. My engagement ring spins around like a tilt-a-whirl so I've taken it off for now.

Gary and I have decided that after his 10 days of post surgery recovery we will go to MO to see his mom. At first Gary wanted to go during the 10 days but I put the kibosh on that idea. Apparently he just lost his mind for a few hours. I can just see him loaded up on pain pills dealing with his mother. I don't think it would be pretty. She drives him crazy under the best of circumstances.

So, he's going to take a week off after the 10 time and we'll go up then. We're going to take a day trip to St Louis, or maybe an overnight if we can take advantage of our friend John, and go visit Barnes Jewish. Also, I'll get to indulge in one of my favorite junk foods, White Castle!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This is cool

My former parish which will always be home to me, now offers copies of the 10:30 service on CD. I just emailed them and asked if they'd mail them to me. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In light of recent events

This is worth watching again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love Reign O'er Me - Bettye LaVette

Just calm down

I don't apologize for asking for prayer for a friend. I don't apologize for deleting troll posts. I had to delete one post from a friend that had a line feeding the troll and I regret his reaction to that. Unfriending me from Facebook seems a little extreme to me over a minor thing but that is his choice.

I have apologized to Elizabeth. I was hard on her and that is not my role to play.

I have turned on the moderate comments feature to avoid any further postings from the troll. Joe, if that is your real name, I feel sorry for you and you are in my prayers.

Just to be clear, I'll ask for prayer for anyone at any time. If that bothers you please just skip the post.

p.s. I drove some today. Just a short distance but the first time in months! It was a blast!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Anonymous

If you're so chicken  that you can only put up anonymous comments then I just feel sorry for you. They will be deleted.

If you're so callused that prayer for someone hurting, no matter how you feel about them just makes you lash out then I just feel sorry for you.

Whoever you are, I am praying for you. Your heart is hardened and that is sad.

Prayers for my friend

Please keep MP in your prayers. He is hurting.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

from Crooks & Liars

Change him to a nun he's still a Newt

Feeling so much better

I can make coffee myself. I can shower without help. I have tons more energy.

Thanks so much for all the prayers. I feel like a miracle today.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just stuff

Willy, my favorite home health nurse came by today and I am doing much better. Getting nutrition and calories sure makes a difference. I loaned him one of my Motown box sets that covers 1959 to 1971. I know he'll enjoy it. I don't usually loan out my music but I really trust him.

I've been pretty upset about the situation over at MP's blog. I've been accused of taking sides and just because I don't think the language in those emails was okay. What those people don't know was I also had discussion with MP about forgiveness. I've been derided for my screen name. Maybe I'm not so good at Being Peace but at least it is a goal. More than one person has picked at me about that name but I can live with it. I think forgiveness is our main mission in this life. Anything else we do is for naught if we hold grudges. Jesus forgave everyone. He didn't write them a note and say let me think it over, he forgave them.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gary Update

Gary has a torn rotator cuff and will have surgery soon. He will be down for at least 10 days recovering at home and then 3 months of light duty at work. I'm very worried about both os us being down at the same time. We will need lots of help during his 10 days of recovery. Please keep him in your prayers for a successful surgery and complete recovery.

Love, R

Ponder this

Forgive us our trespasses AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Prayer

Prayer is really a simple thing. If all I use are the words our Savior taught us I can feel an energy and connection. My focus right now is on intercessory prayer. There is so much and so many who need that energy and connection that prayer gives. 

My Aunt Lila and Uncle Joe had a ministry of prayer that I can only hope to accomplish. Every day they prayed for a list of people by name. This list was 4 or 5 legal pages long. I know I was one of those they prayed for every day. Most names would come and go on their list depending upon the need. The most important thing was they did this together every day. I would join them when I could and often found myself in tears just from feeling the power of the Holy Spirit.

I pray for all of you. Sometimes, thanks to Mimi and MP I know a specific need, often I don't. I can't do much right now but I can pray for my friends. That is my job right now.

Love, R

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Failure to Thrive

I've been diagnosed with Geriatric Failure to Thrive. I don't think of myself as geriatric but I have all the symptoms and the hospital and doctors have made this an official diagnosis. I want you all the know that I am fighting as hard as I can to turn this around.

Love, R

Sunday, April 19, 2009

About time!


Apr 19th, 2009 | RALEIGH, N.C. -- Federal law prevents hospitals from revealing information on a patient, but hospital gowns occasionally allow a patient to reveal too much of themselves.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that a North Carolina State University design team is working to end the issue of partial disclosure.

It's not the first time someone has tried to conceal what is sometimes exposed because of the gown's flimsy fabric and loosely tied open back. But North Carolina State textile design professor Traci Lamar has the financial backing and research to develop a restyled garment that could finally be practical for hospitals across the country.

Lamar has been working on a solution since November 2006. Researchers hope to have the product ready for market in about two years.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

When you come out of the desert

We all spend time in the desert. We have spiritual, financial, health, family deserts and they are all lonely and hard places to be. We're never there forever. Things change, life moves, healing of different sorts occur and we always seem to find ourselves back in the garden somehow.

I've been thinking about Jesus taking the disciples to the garden during the last of their time together. He knew they were going to hit some long, hard desert time soon so he took them to a place of peace and beauty. 

I feel that I've just entered the garden gate. I feel the Spirit leading me, putting people in my path for a reason, giving me hope and strength. Everyone's garden is a little different and the path to the gate is different. A week ago I could barely walk to the end of the hall and now I can move around a lot more. I can fix my own coffee. Big deal you say? Yeah it is.

When you're in the desert it feels as though you'll never get out. If you pay attention, you're out and life feels fresh again.

I love you all and you are in my prayers, Roseann

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mama bird


Patricia took this picture of a mama Blue Jay who built her nest on some lights by my carport. Thought you'd all enjoy it!

Patient Packet

Well, my new patient packet arrived today. I was just getting ready to open it when Gary had to leave for work. I decided not to look at it until he gets home. He remembers things better than I do and plus I'm just nervous about it. Maybe that is silly but I'll just feel better to go through it when he is with me. Have I told you what a great guy he is?

I talked to a police community crime abatement officer about my warring neighbors. I told him I had no intention of getting anyone in trouble. I asked if someone could just talk to them about their behavior and how it disturbs the neighborhood. Apparently they have people who do that sort of thing which is a great service. Sometimes a warning is enough.

Gary is off the next two days and we're going to drive down to the neighborhood park and go for a walk. I'll use my walker and sit down when I get tired. I think if I can just move a little more it will help me build up my strength. Also, some sunshine will be nice. I wish I could take the doggies but I think Gary "walking" me will be enough to handle.

You're all in my prayers and I love you, Roseann
I just want to say I love Mimi. 
Here's a link to Barnes Jewish transplant program. I'm posting this to remind people to be an organ donor. Also, think about being a live donor for a kidney patient. Only a quarter of the people waiting on a kidney will get one this year. There is a recent study, posted on this blog, that shows live donors live normal lives and have normal life spans after surgery. 




Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random thoughts about today

I got a phone call from a sweet friend today. She hasn't called much lately because for awhile I was just too tired to talk. On dialysis days my throat gets very dry and I'm hoarse and can't speak very well. She called at a perfect time today and it was fun to talk to her.

I've also been talking on the phone with my friend John in St Louis. It is so fun to talk to him. We haven't met F2F but I feel like we've known each other forever.

A friend from my old parish contacted me. She found my blog and read through most of it. She told me that St Pete's had been praying for me for months but she didn't know why. She offered to help any way she can. I was so moved.

I'm pretty emotional these days. I'm so excited about the prospect of going to Barnes Jewish. I have to chill on that. I was convinced I would get transplanted at UAMS so I'm working on just being calm and letting things go at their own pace instead of feeling rush, rush, rush. I also cry at the drop of a hat. West Wing is being rerun on Bravo and I record it on DVR. The episode called Two Cathedrals makes me just sob. So of course, I watch it a lot. I miss sitting in the pew and hope I can get there soon.

I just want to say I love Traci the Red. Not only does she look awesome in the Aretha hat she visits and comments a lot. I'm still laughing over the angel sin accountants. 

Really I love all of you. You're in my prayers and I'm grateful for MP's prayer request updates. Knowing a specific need helps me focus. I love your pets too. Especially the dogs. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not feeling so hot today

For the last three days it has become harder to breathe again. The nurses at my dialysis center are wonderful and know what to listen for. They will probably send me for another chest xray. I'll let you know how things go.

Update: turns out things are okay just some fluid on my lungs that came off in dialysis. Major good news is I'm going to try for Barnes Jewish hospital in St Louis. My donor is cool with that too. Even better my friend John Dawid lives there and is going to be our resident angel. I feel so blessed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Neighborhood Easter war

I woke up before sunrise and was having a blessed and calm Easter morning. 2 hours later my crazy neighbors are out in the middle of the street having a full-on war. Mostly screaming and cursing and waving of sticks and bats.

Now I don't want to call, wait I DO want to call these douche bags trailer trash. This is a nice neighborhood and they need to move to a trailer park.

I had to call 911 and a patrol car came out and broke it up.

Don't mess with my peaceful Easter please!

p.s. Enjoy this giant Lego Jesus! http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090412/od_afp/swedenreligionoffbeat

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Miracles

I haven't taken the St Jude medal off since I got it and I seem to have a little more energy every day.

My cousin Lee came over today with a prayer shawl she knitted for me. As she was getting ready to tie off the last bit of fringe she looked down at the floor and there was a sterling silver charm of the Bible so she put it on the last fringe. She has no idea where it came from and knows it is not something she bought. 

Patricia came over with Easter dinner for me and Gary. Lemon-rosemary roasted chicken, roasted baby potatoes, a medley of zucchini, red and green sweet peppers.

We feel so blessed and thank all of you for your prayers and kind comments.

Love, Roseann

Beef Stew and LornaDoones

I met Patricia online through MP and Mimi's blogs. I can't remember who got in touch first, I just remember being so happy to see another Arkansan. I got to meet Patricia yesterday when she brought a meal for me and Gary. Beef stew, rolls, salad, blackberry cobbler and LornaDoone cookies. Even better, she's a fellow LornaDoone fan!

We had a really great visit. We realized we know lots of the same people. Got to tell some stories and I have a new friend. How cool when a friend moves from cyber to F2F!

Thanks for everything Patricia. Gary also sends thanks and says your beef stew is one of the best he's ever tasted. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

I don't know who wrote this, I stole, I mean borrowed it from a Facebook poster.

WARNING: Not for the sarcasm impaired.

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans

Wonderful news

Apr 9th, 2009 | NEW YORK -- A New York City organ damaged on Sept. 11, 2001, will be played on Good Friday for the first time since the terrorist attacks.

The 1,680-pipe organ at St. Paul's Chapel near ground zero has undergone a complete cleaning. Two-and-a-half gallons of dirt have been removed and two bent pipes replaced.

The organ will reverberate through the chapel during a special open rehearsal Friday morning. It also will be played during two Easter morning services.

The instrument was built in 1964 by the Buffalo, N.Y., Schlicker Organ Company. It is housed in an elaborate mahogany case built in 1802.

St. Paul's Chapel is an annex of Trinity Church. It served as a place of refuge for recovery workers at the World Trade Center site.

Crooks and Liars

Great blog, check it out. http://crooksandliars.com/

Dave Brubeck, one of the all time greats

Apr 9th, 2009 | WILTON, Conn. -- Dave Brubeck's son says the jazz pianist and composer is looking forward to returning to the road for some shows after being hospitalized for a viral infection.

Chris Brubeck says his 88-year-old father is recovering at his Wilton, Conn., home, and hopes to be well enough to perform in a few weeks. He was released from Norwalk Hospital last week.

I actually got to hug him at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest in the '70s. A sweet and happy man who loves his fans. He played with his sons who all have major chops.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Prayers needed

Gary has injured his shoulder and is in quite a bit of pain. He went to the doctor yesterday and tomorrow will have an MRI. This is a critical situation for us. If he can't work at Whole Foods we lose our insurance. He works another job as an internet programmer for a company in Austin and they haven't been able to pay him since February. This economy is sucking hard.

Please pray that he can work at least light duty. He has vacation hours built up and if he needs to rest the shoulder give him the good sense to take some time off. He is saving all his vacation time now to help me.

I hate to say it but we really need help. I wrote my priest today and asked if there are some people who will bring us meals. Frankly, the house can go to hell, I just want him to be okay. Please pray that some kind souls will help us over this hump.

It is embarrassing to admit this but I have to share the truth with you all.

Love, Roseann

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Traci's cat waits at the window for her

Friends and illness

I've noticed some of my friends have faded away since I've been ill. I know that illness can frighten people and they don't mean to be distant, they just don't know what to do. Then I have other friends who show up and clean my house for me or bring a meal or just send a card or email. I love the virtual friends I've made on OCICBW and Facebook. 

One of my long-time friends will give me a kidney if things change and I can have a transplant. This guy has already changed my life in more ways than I can describe. A zillion years ago he sat me down in from of a Mac and learning to use the computer changed my life.

Be gentle with your friends. Forgive them when they just don't know what to do. Pray for them. If for some reason they drop you like a hot rock pray for them anyway. Try to remember we're all one, we're all the Son. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Things in my heart

All day I've been thinking about going to the Keys with Traci and having big, fat cheeseburgers in honor of our fathers. I might even sneak a sip or 2 of beer.

I've been thinking about how much I love St. Sue and her friendship. She is an awesome lady.

I got my St Jude medal from Anonymous and it is wonderful and hanging around my neck.

I've been thinking about MP and how goofy and then profound he is. I wish he was a priest at my church.

I've been thinking about my 4-leggeds and my OCICBW friend's 4-leggeds. I think God really outdid it with the creation of dogs. I love cats too but dogs rule.

Then I got sleepy and took a nap. Naps are one of the best things ever.

Love and prayers to you all, Roseann

Sunday, April 5, 2009

And now for something completely diferent

No communion today

No one remembered to bring me communion today. Not an LEV or a deacon or one of the priests. I don' t know if I messed up and was supposed to call the church or something. When I was last in the hospital 2 of our priests promised me at different times that they would bring me communion. I feel kind of sad that no one remembered and even worse if I was supposed to do something and failed to do it.

I decided to not pout and picked up the phone. One of our priests is on his way over. He was mortified because he thought I'd been assigned to someone else. So bless him, in the middle of the afternoon he is on his way.

Last Holy Week?

Maybe this is my last Holy Week on this earth. Who knows? There are so many people praying for miracles for me that I find myself without fear. At least for this moment.

I want to thank everyone who write about their 4-leggeds. If Heaven isn't full of critters God and I will have a serious talk. :-)  I pray for all your pets, especially those getting old or sick. My Tinker is getting old and I tried to make her promise she wouldn't go before me but she was too interested in what was left on my plate to really pay attention.

My friend John and I talked about what would happen to our critters if something happened to us. I know Gary will take care of mine but I also know they are far more attached to me than to him. My prayer is that they would adapt and love him like they love me. Which might annoy him a little, especially my shadow Belle. She is relentless about being in a lap.

MP wrote on his blog, Jesus was ultimately betrayed by the world and he needed God to rescue him. This is also the life experience of us all. Right now my younger brother won't talk to me. He has a "perfect" life. Beautiful wife and children, beautiful house, plenty of money to shield it all. Everyone healthy and happy. I'm the wrench in that perfection. He says he loves me and prays for me but he will not talk to me no matter how I reach out to him. I hope that God rescues us both soon from this betrayal. I'm not the easiest sister to have. I know this will shock you but I have strong opinions and I call them as I see them. Younger brother is on what I consider the "dark side." Bush and Cheney were great. Waterboarding is not torture and so what if it is. His son goes to Pat Robertson's law school. Seriously, all dark side stuff to me. The thing is I love him and would walk through fire and broken glass for him. Anytime. Please pray that we reconcile and in that process I learn to just shut up and let him be who he wants to be. I would wash his feet.

I think Holy Week is working me already.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Feeling Gratitude

I won't be able to attend Palm Sunday services this year. I just don't have the strength. In spirit I will be with the people of Grace and St. Stephens in Colorado. Tomorrow they get their church building back. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Words fail me...


Listen, I was thinking on my way to work today that you deserve a much nicer medal than the one I have so I detoured though another little town on my way home... it's just one little town after another here in swamp land... and I went to see the religious man down at the religious shop. He had a great St. Jude. I knew he would. It's gold over silver which he was pretty impressed about. I don't know. But, it's pretty and it feels good in the hand. So I got you that one. I think you'll like it. Now, the religious man is very religious... Catholic... Republican... pro-life... the whole nine yards. So, he was careful to inform me that the medal had not been blessed and that I should rush right out to my priest and have it blessed before I gave it to anyone. I thanked him profusely, like I always do. But, I don't have a priest and if I did I wouldn't ascribe any magical blessing powers to them anyway. What I do with my own medals is leave them in front of an icon of our blessed mother and ask her to take them directly to Jesus and have them blessed by him. So, that is what I have done with yours. I'll leave it here all night and pack it up and mail it in the morning. You can see it in the snap below. The medal is in the little maroon box.



If you need any other religious stuff just let me know. I'm not kidding, this guy can get anything. ANYthing. And it is a privilege for me to be able to do something for you.

My prayers for you continue.

Warm Blankets

Warm blankets are one of the true pleasures of life. Climbing into the dialysis bed and being covered with warm blanks is enough to make a grown man weep. Except MP who would just sniffle a bit.

Thanks for all the great comments and feedback. Thanks to Lindy who is sending me a St Jude medal. I will keep the card in my BCP and wear the medal all the time. Sometimes I take my BCP to dialysis and read prayers and psalms. What a wonderful book to have. Once a gazillion years ago when I was young and healthy a Roji from a Buddhist monastery in Japan came to visit a local college. He wanted to meet with my priest and she asked me to join them. I gave him a copy of the BCP and he gave me a fan he had calligraphied with a saying of the Buddha. He told me what it said but now with  rampant CRS I have no clue what it says. It is one of the things I want thrown in my box before I am cremated.

Gary says I want too much in that box. I want my old, best wiener dogs collar. I want a picture from our wedding and I want a picture of my mommy and daddy. Is that weird? When one of my friends died a few years ago we filled his coffin with KitKat bars. Hey...he liked them a lot! No one had discussed it, there was no plan, just as we passed his coffin in went a KitKat.

When Gary's uncle died they put his domino set in his coffin. The double-six was in his hands. I had never met this man and when we got to the wake Aunt Martha said, "Let me introduce you to Doug." Well, this was a new one for me. I mean, what do you say? "Hi, nice to meet you. Hope you enjoy the after life." I'm really no good in situations like that.

I want to send special greetings today to John, Janis and Larry. You sure have helped me with all the broohaha this week. Thanks for having my back. I love you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thanks everyone

Well, some good news. I'm being transferred to the dialysis center at St Vincent's hospital. This is a much nicer place where I can lie down and sleep instead of sit in a plastic, worn out lazyboy recliner. It is also quiet and we are cared for by RN and LPNs instead of medical technicians. I am very grateful for this development.

Someone I know online committed suicide on Sunday. Please pray for his family.

Thank you for the prayers. I pray for all of you daily. What a wonderful connection that is. 

Thanks again to Janis for sending me the St Jude card. It will take a miracle for me to live out the year. My friend Larry believes in miracles and prays for one every day. Thank you Larry.

Love you all, Roseann

Saturday, March 28, 2009

OCICBW Friends

It seems we are surrounded by pain sorrow right now. I just want you all to know you're in my prayers. Love, Roseann

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A request

Does anyone have a spare St Jude medal they would be willing to share? I feel hopeless and while I've never been one to turn to saints I think I need to now. Please let me know.

Love and peace, Roseann

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A little good news for a change

One of the reasons UAMS turned me down for transplant is the fact that I've had gastric bypass surgery. Gary got online last night and did some research that shows gastric bypass patients actually live longer with a kidney transplant than the general population. Did UAMS just miss those studies? I think they are only interested in low risk transplants because it keeps their numbers looking good. Better numbers, better chances of research grants. Way of the world, huh?

I'd like to call on my blogger friends to help if they can or if they have time to find any research on gastric bypass and kidney transplant. Good or bad it will help make our case.

I will fight as long as God gives me breath and strength and the will to go on. I slept almost 20 hours yesterday
which rested my soul and my heart. I will not give up. I will not go gently until God tells me it is time.

I love you all. You sustain me. You inspire me. I pray for you all daily. Until Traci sings I'm not giving up.

Love, Roseann

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dead Woman Walking

Dear Ms. Matthews,

As per our conversation, you were presented at Kidney Conference on 2/27/09. The committee has decided that you have mulitple medical problems that would not me conducive to a kidney transplant. You have recurrent infections. You have had gastric by pas surgery that could make the metabolism of your post transplant meds very tenuous and that is one of the most critical points for the success of a transplant. Finally with you past history of multiple malignancies including malignant melanoma this could recur after a transplant secondary to immunosuppressive drugs.

It is always difficult to have to relay this type of information. You do have the option of consulting another transplant center. There are other possible centers in the area that are most likely to accept higher risk patients. They are Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock AR, Baylor University in Dallas , TX, Methodist in Memphis, TN and Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sigh

UAMS informed me that I am not eligible for a kidney transplant. I have so many health issues that need to be resolved that they won't even consider me right now. I just keep moving forward and hoping for the best.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I love my couch

Once again I'm on my couch with a nest of wiener dogs, a heating pad and a comforter my friend crocheted for me. Pain pills are still my friends but hopefully they will move on soon. I have a walker so I can get around. It is rather snappy with a blue metallic finish. When I'm well and can drive again I want a car like St. Sue's only in this fun shade of blue.

I am so grateful to all of you who've taken the time to pray or write notes or send a good thought my way. Over the next few weeks I'll have more tests and prepare for transplant or whatever happens next. 

Love to all, Roseann

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dear friends

It sure is nice to be home. I've built a nice nest on my sofa with my wiener dogs and books, blankets and computer. My hip is very sore and I hobble around with my snappy new cane though I can't get very far. I ask your prayers for my husband. He has to do everything around the house plus work two jobs. 

I am so grateful to all of you for the prayers and kind words. I will write more soon. I'm just so emotional right now.

Love and blessings,
Roseann

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just the way it is.

I really don't like my life right now. I do not make a good invalid. I am cranky, sad, bored, numb, angry, calm, sedate, patient, anxiety-ridden, happy, annoyed and all in the space of maybe 5 minutes. 

It is just a tight rope and I am walking it the best I can. Getting the call that they saw something on the mammogram they didn't like just about did it. I did not handle this news with one iota of grace. I talked to 4 family/friends and got the advice to pray and meditate. Sorry but right now I am too busy being royally pissed off at the creator. Smite me o mighty smiter! And I swear to God if another person tells me the God won't give me more than I can handle, I will just never speak to them again. Seriously, lay off telling me to rely on God and pray, okay? The thing is God and I get along just fine. I'm just slouching towards Bethlehem and I do that imperfectly. I have moments when I feel as close as you can and moments when I am just not there with it at all.

I wish I was brave. I wish I was fearless. I wish I was well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good news for kidney donors

New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org

UNOS: http://www.unos.org



Jan 28th, 2009 | NEW YORK -- Donating a kidney doesn't appear to have any long-term health consequences for the donor, a reassuring study shows. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found those who gave up one of their two kidneys lived a normal life span and were as healthy as people in the general population. The donation also didn't raise the risk of having kidney failure later.

Kidney donation has generally been considered safe, although with surgery, there are always risks. The new research of nearly 3,700 donors dating back more than four decades is the largest and longest study to look at long-term outcomes, said the researchers. They reported their findings in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

"It is a confirmation that living donation is a safe thing," said Dr. Matthew Cooper, a transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland, who was not involved in the research.

Kidneys filter waste and excess fluid from the blood. If your kidneys fail, the options are dialysis or a transplant. More than 78,000 people are on the national waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. The need for kidneys has soared with the rise in diabetes and obesity and the wait can last for years.

Living donation has increased as more people became willing to donate and newer surgery techniques shortened recovery time. In 2007, more than a third of the 16,629 kidneys transplanted in the U.S. came from living donors, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Dr. Hassan Ibrahim, the study's leader, and his colleagues wanted to find out what happened to the 3,698 people who had donated a kidney at the university since 1963. They tried to contact everyone and used government records to find out who had died. A group of 255 donors was randomly selected to have kidney and other tests. Results were compared with health outcomes for the general population.

Overall, 268 of the donors died, which the researchers said was comparable to survival in the general population. Eleven donors developed kidney failure decades later and needed dialysis or a transplant. The researchers said the rate of kidney failure in the donors was lower than that reported in the general population.

Most of the donors tested had good kidney function and reported an excellent quality of life, the study found.

The good outcomes likely reflect the strict criteria used to pick the donors, the researchers said. The donors had to be healthy with no kidney problems, and be free of high blood pressure and diabetes -- two main causes of kidney disease.

Ibrahim said he hopes the results will increase donations and encourage transplant centers to continue to carefully select donors and not relax their requirements.

"We think these donors do extremely well because they were screened very well," said Ibrahim.

While there are no regulations for selecting living donors, the transplant network offers guidelines, said Cooper, who heads a UNOS committee on living donors. He said any kidney donor who later needs a transplant is given priority on the waiting list.

"There is a recognition of the sacrifice that these people have made," Cooper said.

Drs. Jane Tan and Glenn Chertow, of Stanford University School of Medicine, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal, noted that the study donors were mostly white and were likely younger than donors today. The results may not apply to older, nonwhite donors, they said.

The value of the study is its large size and duration, Tan said.

"We always have to be careful when it comes to potential harm to another individual," she said. "This study is very reassuring."

The University of Minnesota is part of a similar, ongoing study with other transplant centers that will have a larger and more diverse donor group, Ibrahim said.

One of the study donors said she didn't worry about potential problems when she gave a kidney to her oldest brother in 1983.

"I really didn't think too much past that," said Susan Kivi, 52, of Roseville, Minn. "He just deserved another chance to live a normal life."

Her recovery from surgery was a little harder than she expected, said Kivi. But she hasn't had any health problems related to giving up a kidney since then. Her brother died about four years later.

"It was worth it. He got a few good years," she said.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Meanwhile I was still thinking

At the moment I live in the mean time. There are stages in life where that is just how things are. It mostly goes like this:

X needs to happen, it is the thing I need for my life to be the way I'd like

to get to X I have to jump through a finite number of hoops

When you're doing what you have to do to get to X, you're in the mean time. And they don't call it mean for nothing.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.