Happy Tuesday

It is not just Valentine’s Day‘, is a post I published a year ago today and it started with the following –

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, hope your day is a special one.

Today is a very special day for me, not only is it Valentine’s Day, it is also the birthday of my son #2.

He was born on this special day 32 years ago weighing in at 9lbs and 12 ½oz.  Yes, he was a big boy!

In today’s post, I write the following –

Yes, it is son #2’s birthday again – Happy 33rd Birthday Son

Yes, it is Valentine’s Day – Happy Valentine’s Day

For those that do not have a birthday today or celebrate Valentine’s Day –

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My hotchpotch

In my post ‘the next 9 days‘ I wrote the following –

Most of my posts for the next 9 days are about events of the past several weeks, about my current feelings and about my future after surgery.

In today’s post, I write the following –

9 days counting; I feel you are tired of reading posts about this upcoming surgery and my feelings and emotions.  But I had to get it out of my head and onto paper before tomorrow.

So, today I am wrapping-up different topics into one post – my hotchpotch.

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Hotchpotch #1 –

Reminders –

Because I have a personal goal to post every day, next week is no exception.  Next week’s posts are all scheduled and ready to publish; expect a lighter week with regards to subject and topic.  Starting tomorrow, my posts will have the comments disabled.  My hope is that I will be back ready to respond to your wonderful comments next Saturday – time will tell.

Hotchpotch #2 –

Tomorrow is surgery day.

Tomorrow is not just an important day for me, it is for others as well.

Tomorrow, Monday January 16, 2017 is significant for the following reasons –

A Federal Holiday –

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States honoring the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. – the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement to end racial segregation. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is close to January 15, the King’s birthday.

RV Friend Surgery –

While temporary living on the Naval Air Station Pensacola RV park, Gary and I have met many wonderful people we now consider friends.  One of these friends is having surgery tomorrow as well and at the same hospital as me.  Who knows, maybe our paths will cross in the surgery prep room.

Stepmom’s Birthday –

For no particular reason; I do not believe I have ever mentioned my stepmom here on my blog.  She is very important to my dad and very important to me.  My stepmom is much younger than my dad and not too much older than me.  My dad and stepmom are married for over 30 years now and tomorrow is her birthday.  My stepmom is 18 years younger than my dad and 9 years older than me.  My stepmom celebrates her 65th birthday tomorrow.

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Hotchpotch #3 –

I wanted to publish another post before tomorrow of the importance of my caregiver Gary.  I ran out of time and days and his post will wait for a few weeks.  Let’s just say, in the coming months, I will need him more than ever – and it is comforting to know, he will be here for me.  I am fortunate, lucky, blessed to have Gary in my life.

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Hotchpotch #4 –

I am fortunate, very fortunate in my life – a life filled with joy, sadness, certainties and unknowns.  I consider myself lucky: I do believe I have much more to look forward to – many years to come of travels, making friends, visiting family, celebrating, uncovering, and most importantly living.

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Steven Hall Grimnes

I searched the internet for him and his story.

I found some information on ‘The National Archives’ website, but no information I did not already know.

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Who is this person, and what is his story?

I know the Name, the Rank, the Branch of Service, the Wars, the Time Lived; but I do not know anything else.

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But there are thousands upon thousands who rest in peace and who are recognized a few times a year for their life and their time serving us.

My husband served and saw some action and my son serves and saw no action.

Many others have served and are serving that were in action; and many died in action – still many never to return from action.

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As I currently live on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida; I drive by the area of land almost every day.

Upon returning from our recent trip, I once again drove by; but this time it was different – because of the season.

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Rows upon rows of them, garnished with wreaths and bows of red to mark the season.

I stood in awe at the site and it reminded me of the sacrifices these individuals made and still make today.

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Let us not forget about those serving in the military and are away from family this time of the year.

Let us not forget about those that have served and who rest in peace in our national cemeteries across this great land.

Who are these people, and what are their stories?

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My Message

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve – where did this month go?

3 weeks ago in my video post ‘Results‘, I revealed to you my health status and what is next with regards to my care.  Next month, I will have my next surgery.

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Here is a recap of my recent imaging results and what is to come the first month of the new year –

My 12 weeks of chemotherapy seem to have stopped the cancer in my bladder from growing.  The nodules that appeared on my lungs in my initial imaging tests are also no longer found.  With my cancer, the chemotherapy assisted in controlling the cancer by stopping the cancer from growing or spreading.

My cancer is Stage 4 Bladder Cancer, which is muscle-invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder; the percentage of reoccurrence is high.  Therefore, the gold standard of treatment is the surgery Radical Cystectomy.

Radical Cystectomy is the removal of the entire bladder, nearby lymph nodes, part of the urethra, and nearby organs that may contain cancer cells. In men, the prostate, the seminal vesicles, and part of the vas deferens are also removed.  My Urologist Dr. P. uses the robotic-assisted surgery which reduces risks, time in surgery and hospital stay.  The surgery will require the robotic cystectomy be performed via 5 -6 ports and may take up to 8 hours.  Once surgery is completed, the hospital stay is expected to be 7 – 10 days, with a total recovery of 2 – 3 months.

Here are the results of the surgery per urology.osu.edu –

An ileal conduit, also called a urostomy, redirects the urine so it drains into a bag located on the abdomen. This type of diversion will be created by removing a short segment of the small intestine (ileum) to be used as a conduit for urine to flow out of the body. The ureters will be surgically sewn to the wall of the conduit. The surgeon will close one end of the segment and then bring the open end through the abdominal wall creating a stoma.

Once my surgery is completed, a biopsy will be performed on the organs removed to determine the extent of my cancer.  The results of the biopsy will determine the next steps, which could include additional chemotherapy, radiation or nothing at all, except follow-up appointments for future cancer reoccurrences.  Remember with Stage 4 Bladder cancer it is more about when vs. if the cancer will return.

I have several weeks left before the surgery and Christmas and New Year holidays are quickly approaching.  The initial plan for Christmas was Gary’s family would stay in cabins located here at the RV park where we are located.  We planned to spend the coming days together to celebrate Christmas; but these initial plans have changed due to unforeseen circumstances.  Our plans now are Gary and I will spend Christmas with our RV family in the RV park.

Due to this past years development regarding my health and the unforeseen circumstances that have changed our Christmas plans – I have a message – my message.

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My message for each one of you, no matter your upbringing, your religion, believes or feelings; life can be short, let us celebrate our lives – and remember let’s be nice to each other.

December – I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake

December – a popular holiday song this time of year – I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake

Lake says that he does believe in Father Christmas (known in America as Santa Claus), and says of the holiday and his inspiration for the song: “For me as a child, it was the visual image of peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

Interesting facts about I Believe In Father Christmas & Greg Lake

Lake created the song in August, and was surprised when it started climbing the charts in December. Many people misinterpreted it as an anti-religious song, and he thought it wouldn’t go over well as a single.

Lake was the lead singer and guitarist for Emerson, Lake And Palmer. The group rarely released singles, and cracked the UK Top 40 just once, with “Fanfare For The Common Man” in 1977.

Pete Sinfield, who wrote lyrics for many Emerson, Lake And Palmer songs, helped write this.

Lake (from Mojo magazine): “I find it appalling when people say it’s politically incorrect to talk about Christmas, you’ve got to talk about ‘The Holiday Season.’ Christmas was a time of family warmth and love. There was a feeling of forgiveness, acceptance. And I do believe in Father Christmas.”

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

December – Step Into Christmas by Elton John

December – a popular holiday song this time of year – Step Into Christmas by Elton John

Most Christmas singles are best forgotten, but this one has real merit, meaningful words by Bernie Taupin, and a typically strong melody from Elton.

Interesting facts about Step Into Christmas & Elton John

Elton doesn’t write lyrics, his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin takes care of that. They met through a want-ad in a British music trade paper, and someone at the publishing company where they both applied connected them, since Elton needed a lyricist and Bernie needed someone to write music.

In her biography Elton John in His Own Words, Susan Black quotes Elton thus: “The Christmas single is a real loon about and something we’d like to do a lot more of.

The song was written on a Sunday morning and recorded in the afternoon at the London Trident Studios.

The single was released in November 1973 and received heavy airplay although it only reached #24 on the UK chart.

As a child, John didn’t need glasses, but wore them anyway to look like Buddy Holly. They damaged his eyes so much that he was soon forced to wear them.

John’s original name was Reginald Kenneth Dwight. The name Elton comes from Elton Dean, a Bluesology sax player.

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

Hallmark – I can’t help it

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A year ago this month in my post ‘Christmas Movies‘, I wrote the following –

Okay, I admit it – I am a sucker for those made for TV Christmas movies!

Do you know what I am referring to?

The Lifetime Channel Christmas movies –

Holiday Switch, Holiday Baggage, Christmas on Chestnut Street, A Very Married Christmas, Nothing Like The Holidays, All She Wants For Christmas, Holly’s Holiday, Home By Christmas, and the list goes on.

The Hallmark Channel Christmas movies –

A Royal Christmas, The Christmas Ornament, Moonlight And Mistletoe, A Coral Christmas, Love’s Christmas Journey, Naughty Or Nice, The National Tree, and the list goes on.

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In today’s post, I write the following –

Okay, I admit it – I am still a sucker for those made for TV Christmas movies!

As I did last year, I am watching those made for TV Christmas movies again this year!

I can’t help it, I must watch these movies this time of year and started watching them before Halloween.  I watch several each week including the following –

My Christmas Dream, The Mistletoe Promise, Christmas Cookies, A December Bride, Broadcasting Christmas, Love You Like Christmas, My Christmas Love, and the list goes on.

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Image Provided by: Its a Wonderful Movie

huffingtonpost.com article 11 Reasons to Watch Hallmark Christmas Movies includes the following –

I wanted something sweet when I have given up sweets. Can one get cavities from watching TV?

I wanted romance. I have written a few things down for my husband that seem to work in these movies. Like one must go ice skating and fall down. No problem there. Apparently lying about your identity is also very romantic. I’ve tried to tell my husband I’m Nigella Lawson, but no spectacular gifts seem to be arriving addressed to “Nigella.”

I wanted to see the real meaning of Christmas. I do love how these movies just make me think everyone loves each other. Really. You just have to wait until Christmas.

I wanted to feel connected to humanity. At least, I’d like to be connected to Hallmark Humanity. These are nice people. They give you cookies and hot cocoa and show up at your house at all hours of the day and night to make sure you’re okay.

I wanted to uncomplicate life. Who wouldn’t want to live in a Hallmark town? You either work in a coffee shop, a gift shop, play Santa or get the promotion of your dreams. And every town has a cute skating rink and Christmas carolers.

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Image Provided by: Kristen Padilla

The article list more reasons to watch these movies and if you are interested, just click the link above.

For me the reason I watch these movies – these holiday movies make me happy and fill my heart with joy.

Just Sing, Sing A Song

Not quite a week has passed since Thanksgiving; and the past holiday was spent eating lots of food, resting, relaxing and spending time with my family.

There were no Black Friday sales for me last Friday – I left that up to others.

There were no movies this past weekend – too many people out and about.

Today another Tuesday and the week after Thanksgiving and all is calm, peaceful, and easy.

Several weeks ago, fellow blogger and friend Brooke over at theutopiauniverse published a post ‘SATURDAY’, that I felt appropriate for today; Tuesday.

When I read the post, for some reason it reminded me of the song ‘Sing’ by ‘The Carpenters’.

The lyrics and tune are simple and I think sometimes it would be nice if life was the same – simple.

But sometimes this time of year with the holidays – life is all but simple.

When I read Brooke’s post several weeks ago, I thought it simple – she took simple words and reminded us all to do something simple –

Don’t Forget To Live

Thank you, Brooke, for the reminder, I appreciate it very much.  For those readers unfamiliar with Brooke’s blog, please take a visit to her site theutopiauniverse.

The ending lyrics to the song ‘Sing’ by The Carpenters are –

Sing, sing a song

Make it simple to last

Your whole life long

Don’t worry that it’s not

Good enough for anyone

Else to hear

Just sing, sing a song.

If today you are working, resting, relaxing, shopping, seeing a movie or something else.  Remember what Brooke tells us –

Don’t Forget To Live

Let’s also not forget what The Carpenters sang 43 years ago –

Sing, sing a song.

Make it simple to last

Your whole life long

gratitude for you

Last year around this time, I published a post ‘All Things Thanksgiving & Turkey’.  The post included fun facts about Thanksgiving and Turkey jokes.  I figured it would not receive many likes being it was the day before Thanksgiving and I did not have many followers back then.  That post did receive 16 ‘Likes’ and 4 ‘Comments’ from bloggers that continue to follow me today.

I am going on 18 months blogging and I have learned that followers will come and go, some leave and return and others leave never to be heard from again.  We all have lives that take us in directions that at times are unexpected.   These turns in direction sometimes require us to make changes in our lives; sometimes those changes involve no longer spending time on WP.  Whatever the reason for followers leaving WP, I wish them the best and hope their lives are happy and healthy.

allabouthistory.org article Meaning of Thanksgiving has very good information about the Real Meaning of Thanksgiving.  One of those meanings is Expressions of Gratitude.  This part of the article begins with the following –

The meaning of Thanksgiving has undergone numerous transitions — an expression of gratitude for survival, a council’s recognition of its flourishing community, submission of the local natives, the defeat over the British, resulting in a collection of our nation’s traditions and values. Over the centuries, families added their customs to the Thanksgiving celebration, preserving that which they held most precious.

In this post, I want to take time to express my gratitude to you the followers and readers of this blog.

Many have followed me for over a year – with a few almost from day one with the first post.

Even though life is busy at times, many of you stop by every day to read and/or comment, and others take time every couple of days or weeks to catchup.  No matter how much time you spend here and if you have followed me for quite some time now or are recent – I appreciate you very much and am thankful for you.

I feel extremely fortunate that many of you I consider friends.  And yes, yet we only correspond via online on WP, I feel close to many of you.  Over the past 1 ½ years, I have shared my early years and my recent years with nothing hidden.  My posts, my writings and my words are accepted by many bloggers and I know not accepted by others.  I appreciate the opportunity to write and express my life and myself here on WP.

I express my gratitude to WP for allowing me to express myself here on my blog.

I express my gratitude to each one of you who follow my blog, who read my blog, who ‘Like’ my posts and leave encouraging comments.

I certainly consider all of you friends. – from the bottom of my heart – gratitude for you.

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