In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Feels Like A Goodbye Tour, Biopsy Report, Prognosis

I had an appointment today with Dr. Burke, my pulmonary doctor. It was cold and windy today and I could have happily stayed home in my pjs and warm slippers. Just going out has become a chore. The less I move, the less I'm in pain. The more I move, the less the pain med works. I try to time taking them to close to the time I'm going to have to do something. This morning I timed it so that I had a pill before getting bathed and dressed for my appointment, then waited to take the next dose just before we left for the appointment. Climbing in and out of the car is the worse part and really makes my spine scream. You get the picture- nothing is spontaneous now, have to plan and prepare for truly mundane things like simply bathing or getting into a car.  

Unlike last time, the office was quiet when we arrived. It was right after lunch and the waiting room hadn't filled up yet. We were taken right back to Dr. Burke's office where the nurse chatted with us as she took my vitals and updated my records. She's very good at multi-tasking.. keeping the conversation going with us as she read and wrote in my file. 

Dr. Burke came in- he's really a cool guy. Easy to talk to and willing to sit and answer questions and share information. He gave me a copy of my biopsy results to add to the piles of reports and notes I already have. One of these days I'm going to get them all in more organized piles. I'm not sure right off the top of my head what all these medical terms mean. Put simply I have stage 4 metastatic cancer. The primary site is either lung or thyroid, I have the type that makes it difficult to determine where it started. I don't think that really matters now that it has spread.

After we had finished talking, he said my case would now be in the hands of my oncology specialist, Dr. Vanderwall. He assured me I could call or come in anytime I needed and we said our goodbyes. I used to be a patient of his partner, but Dr. Burke inherited me when my original doctor retired. So I have only seen Dr. Burke a couple of times. But I am so grateful I had him to turn to during the start of this cancer journey. We were all a bit teary eyed when we got ready to leave. His staff was so sweet and warm, asking me to keep in touch and stop bye to see them. After seeing my cardiologist, Dr. Degroat, last week for probably the last time, and now saying farewells to Dr. Burke and his staff it felt like I was on a goodbye tour. Emotional day. And I'm too tired to share it all tonight. For another time... Next stop is an appointment with Dr. Vanderwall on Friday. 


  1. Thanks for sharing. Your strength is astounding.

  2. Just curious but have they mentioned Hospice? If not, as a former hospice nurse I STRONGLY urge you to talk with the oncologist & tell them you request it. You will be amazed at the help you will get with meds,, day to day care, help for your husband, etc. please I beg you to get hospice set up.

  3. I agree. We used Hospice for both my parents and they were like angels on earth.So much loving support. Doxielover03 THANK YOU for all the families you helped through their difficult times.

    1. Thank you for the love. I did it for 5 years & it meant everything to me to help those in their time of need. I fought so hard for each & everyone one of them & I think of the families often.

  4. Love you and think of you often. Hospice will help you with pain relief. It's free. They can help you & ROM every step of the way. If you're not doing treatments, there's no reason not to talk to them. You control what you want to do. They will take care of you at home, provide everything. They are angels. We all need angels.

  5. I've just caught up here, I come and binge read at times ROH. I have loved your writing and your art for many years now. I'm gutted to hear the enormity of what has been dumped on you and I'm so sorry to be reading this dear friend. I too encourage you to look into Hospice care. My love is with you and your dear ROM. I hope your pain is managed soon.


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