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!


Monday, January 6, 2020

The Final Act, The Last Chapter, The End?

Much has happened since my last post and life has drastically changed. So much, in fact, I debated over deleting this one and starting a new one to talk about our new reality, which is so different from the life I talked about previously... I still haven't decided but wanted to get some thoughts down now while they're buzzing around in my head. So to catch up from then to now, I'll try to summarize...

We evacuated for Hurricane Irma. Which turned into something like a scene in a zombie apocalypse. Packed roads and gas shortage. For 24 hours we were in the car with two dogs, our personal possessions, and enough Poise Pads to keep three elderly sister wives dry for a year before we found a room in Georgia. I had recently seen that episode of RHOC when Vicki left a wet spot on that hotel bed and I had became obsessive with hoarding Poise Pads. But they did come in handy- I used the big full garbage bag of new pads to assist me in launching myself up and into the freakishly tall hotel bed. Anyway, the evacuation cost us a ridiculous amount of money and inconvenience... while back home we didn't even lose power, just a couple palm trees. 

The following spring I ended up in the hospital with the flu, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, AFib, and COPD. Was kept in isolation which is so freaky when everyone you see is masked and gowned, and your door is always kept closed. Horrible experience. Survived, went home on so much medication I needed one of those old people's medicine organizers. Two months later was back in the hospital because the blood thinner had caused an internal bleed and I had to have 4 units of blood. One of the scans they did looking for the bleed showed that I had necrosis of my left hip. 

Real Old Man retired and took over much of the household work. With my health issues and painful hip, my days of going to the beach were over. But I adjusted, found new sedentary interests, ate healthy, took my meds and settled into a quieter way of life. ROM continued to remain active and healthy- going out to photograph nature, visiting the beach and all the shopping. We were doing okay and settled into a routine. 

Then last summer, completely out of the blue and for the first time in his life,  ROM had a grand mal seizure. Absolutely terrifying. He spent several days in the hospital, had all kinds of scans and an MRI and everything came back normal. He's been on an anti-seizure med ever since and has not another one. 

Again we adjusted, settled into a routine and all was going okay. Until the first of November when I came down with a cold, which turned into a sinus infection and a large lump on  the lower right side of my neck. Which led to a scan and the diagnosis of a fast growing metastatic lung cancer given to me over the phone by my primary doctor. She then referred me to a pulmonary specialist who ordered a PET/CAT full body scan. And that showed cancer in right lung, chest wall, lymph nodes, neck and spine. 

I'm now scheduled Friday morning for a biopsy to confirm what kind of cancer I have- small cell, large cell or something like that. I'm not up on the cancer terminology yet. This is all a blur to me and I feel like I'm on an assembly line, being shuffled from doctor to doctor and from test to test. I may not understand or know all the terminology but I know this is bad. And that the medical industry is confusing, frightening and flawed. Which I'm going to have a lot to say about...

Okay, so we're caught up now. I may have missed some things but we have the highlights. Like I said, life has changed for us. The following entries will be blunt and as honest as I can be. But it won't be light hearted and accompanied with fun photos like it used to be. It will be about grim stuff... like death and shit. You may not want to read this blog anymore, and I wouldn't blame you at all. Lord knows, many people have enough dark crap in their own lives already. 


  1. You and ROM are in my thoughts. Let me know if there's anything you need.

  2. Things are going to get better. Your a special person that’s needed in this crazy world.

  3. I wish I could wrap my arms around you but please know how much you are loved. This is not your last blog. I’m 3 1/2 hours away. I’m here for y’all

  4. Stay strong and be an advocate for yourself when dealing with the world of medicine. Keep asking questions until you get answers. Big hug. ❤

  5. Should be JazzNightOut. And no question marks!

  6. I’m here for everything. Write down a list of questions for each doctor. Have a friend go with you to remember everything they say. ROM might not be the person you take. Maybe a good friend. I’m following another blog of a 30 something young lady who is end stage cancer. I can handle it. We all can. Love ya my Twitter friend!

  7. Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

  8. Okay, first I must say I was scrolling down because I apparently missed a few of your last posts...I think I was too despondent after Nov. 8th, 2016, to do anything but Twitter-rant like a mad woman since. But dear Jebus, you cut down that gorgeous bougainvillea for a LAMP POST? I think I do remember that bare spot & you fixed it up nicely, but in hindsight, WTH, woman?

    Okay, now that I've said my gardening-envy piece, all I'll say is I can't believe the Universe gave you cancer! Goddammit!

    Reading on....

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