Please Read

The following blog posts are based solely on my personal experiences. I am not a Doctor, Nutrition specialist, Comedian, or Professional Baseball Player. If you have a health, nutrition, humor, or baseball issue please seek a PROFESSIONAL.

Favorite Bathrooms

  • Home Sweet Home
  • When I'm @ someones house: the one farthest away from the crowd
  • @ the Mall: Macy's (as public bathrooms go this one is very nice)
  • If I can't make it to Macy's...JC Penney's will have to do (they recently remodeled so it is better than it was. I don't know why they didn't ask for my input???)
  • Monterey Bay Fish Grotto in Monroeville has a great bathroom
  • Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, My fav place to vacation, their rooms have the most wonderful bathrooms

Helpful links

  • FREE Crohns Disease Support Network
  • Find a Toilet
  • Medical Alert Restroom Access Pass

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Think Again

(This post will appear on both my blogs…so if you follow both you only need to read this one today :)

The bad days after chemo continued with all the aches and pains and constant diarrhea, bleeding, and fistula problems. On Sunday my temperature was back up to 101.5 and my heart rate was high. My hubby called the oncologist on call and he of course wanted me to go to the emergency room. So off I went thinking they would draw some blood, check me out, and send me home…Think again!!! Not only was my temp. and heart rate elevated, my blood pressure was high also. Their major concerns were of course infection. They put me on a heart monitor, drew lots of blood, started me on fluids, and did a chest x-ray. The next concern was “did the chemo flare the crohns?” If you haven’t guessed already they admitted me. They said they wanted to keep an eye on me for the next 24 hours. They gave me an IV antibiotic and settled me into a room and hung an isolation sign on the door…no germs in…no germs out! They increased the dose of Flagel. Clear liquids only and a pelvic CT Scan in the morning. They also hung another sigh behind me to alert other nurses

A precaution due to the lack of lymph nodes in both upper arms

I got absolutely no sleep that night. My IV pump (aka Fabio)

KAS don't look at the next picture :)

was SO LOUD. If I had something nearby resembling a baseball bat I would have beat the crap out of it. Around 4:00am I finally just turned the TV on. Early Monday I had my CT Scan and was expecting to get some real food but they still had me on clear liquids. When the GI from my group who was doing rounds and who I didn’t like at all came in (not my GI by the way) she was #1 rude to my husband and #2 gave me a hard time about letting me have a general or even a soft diet. Lets see…you want the diarrhea to go away but if all that goes in is liquid then ummmm what do you think is going to come out??? Besides that I know my body better than anyone esp. someone who has only looked at me for 5 minutes. I could see if I were in pain or had no appetite. She finally agreed to let me try a general diet and if things got worse I would have to go back to liquids. So she leaves and guess what??? She doesn’t write the order for a general diet. The nurse was wonderful. She kept trying to call and get an order. Of course the beotch would not call back. Four calls and hours later another doctor from the group called back and gave her the order. He said start with a general and if I have a problem tweak it. THANK YOU. In the mean time many other doctors came in, my PCP, the infectious disease doctor, and oncologist who all agreed I needed to stay another day. My white count was high but that was most likely due to the chemo. My potassium was low so they gave me some to drink :( Now if you’ve never had liquid potassium you’re lucky because it tastes like crap. After gagging my way through I got about ¾’s of it down.

Fluids, fluids, and more fluids = lots of peeing. Hubby brought me my iPod so that I could plug my ears with Christmas music during the night (to drown out Fabio). It worked…I slept very well. Tuesday was another full day of IV fluids. Fabio and I are becoming very close…he follows me around everywhere. They are still waiting on blood work results to rule out certain infections. The GI beotch doctor hasn’t been back, just her PA who is very nice. They are leaning towards this not being a crohns flare but just a bad time with the chemo. But just to be sure they want me to have a pelvic ultrasound tomorrow…yes another night with Fabio. The fluids have been very helpful. I haven’t had any muscle or bone pain since they started them. I definitely was severely dehydrated. I slept well again with my Christmas music. Wednesday morning I went down for the ultrasound. It turns out the CT Scan showed a little something something near the uterus and they wanted a closer look. Well if they would have said something I could have told them it was probably the same little something they saw on my CT Scan in the spring which turned out to be fluid in my fallopian tube…that’s exactly what it was. The infectious disease doctor came in and said I was negative for all the infections they were testing for but thought they might keep me for a few more days. NOOOOOOOO. My oncologist came in and decided that she did not want me to have the port put in. She is going to reduce the dose of chemo and have me come in early that day and if I appear to be dehydrated again they will give me fluids and if need be more fluids between then and the next chemo. If however I have another bad time with the chemo they will probably not do anymore. Then my PCP came in and said I could go home YAY. I got myself dressed and waited for my discharge instructions and the nurse says your potassium is still low so after I get that for you you can go. NOOOOOOO…she comes back with a pill…are you kidding me…this comes in a pill??? Where was your stupid pill a few days ago when I was gagging??? I took it and then on my way to Home Sweet Home!!!

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crohns Meet Chemo

Well its been a while since I’ve posted. I’ll try not to take too long to catch you up. I’ve been spending a lot of time dealing with the breast cancer treatment which has not been agreeing with my crohns beast. Even before my first chemo I was anemic and had to have some iron transfusions. I did have some side affects but I don’t think they bothered the beast. Those treatments were followed by a very busy week which included my first chemo treatment (Mon.) The treatment itself (4 hours) went well. I was just very tired that day and the next and I had an increase in diarrhea. I figured heck, diarrhea, I can handle that. Then Wed. night I started to feel horrible, even more diarrhea now with some bleeding and the constant diarrhea flared the fistula. That night every inch of my body hurt. It was like tiny knives/shards of glass racing through my body stabbing me. The pain and diarrhea and bleeding and fistula flare continued Thurs. which was the day I had a consult appointment with the surgeon who was suppose to put the chemo port in the next day. My heartrate was high and I had a slight temperature so needless to say they postponed that procedure. Friday the muscle and joint pain eased up a little but I had bouts of nausea and esophageal spasms and stomach/intestinal cramping. It felt like my entire digestive tract was in a knot. I’ve continued to have moderate diarrhea with some bleeding off and on and occasional spasms. The fistula is starting to feel better but is still making it clear that he is there and not going anywhere. I have a call in to my GI (who won’t be back in the office till Monday) and I’ve spoken to the oncologist (the surgeon called her too) I’ll have my blood checked on Monday and see the oncologist on Tuesday. My temp. is back to normal and my heart rate has lowered. I’m hoping I’m on my way back to feeling normal (for me) for the next few weeks before I have to go through it all over again. I’m hoping that this first treatment just woke the beast up to say HEY what is going on??? Maybe the next time he will just say “oh you again” and go back to sleep. A girl can dream!

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lets Make a Deal

I don’t like to complain so much but come on…. Why can’t I just have one disease at a time or at least only one active at a time. I’ve accepted that I have Crohns disease…after all I’ve been dealing with it for more than 20 years. I’ve almost accepted having breast cancer after all its only been three months (wow it has only been three months…it feels more like three years). So crohns (looking down at my belly), yes I’m talking to you. Could you please just back off till I get through the reconstruction and the chemo. Could you just sit back and let me put all my energy into growing new boobs and killing any stray cancer cells. Wouldn’t you rather hide from me while I’m bald and nauseous. You don’t need to keep reminding me that you were here first. You don’t need to be jealous…I will always like you better than cancer. You can relax and enjoy some time off. You’ve worked so hard all these years so how about taking a well deserved vacation. Better yet how about joining forces with me and fighting this cancer together. Instead of chewing on my intestine go gobble up any bad cells that are hanging around. Ya know if you would quit flaring my fistula I could have more energy to get through the cancer treatment. Just so you know the sooner I get through the cancer treatment the sooner it can be just you and me again. You could attack the cancer instead of me. You could be the crohninator, my very own Arnold. Tell the cancer “Hasta la vista, baby!” You could be Batman and I could be Robin. Come on, Crohns, to the Bat Cave! There's not a moment to lose! You can be Mario and I’ll be Luigi: Strap your belt on, kid. We're going in! Come on what do ya say??? Don’t make me come down there and kick your, well I guess it would be my ass!…PLEASE…I’m begging now!

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not Your Average Patient

I went to see the oncologist Friday. She was very nice and I liked her very much. She is also very thorough; she spent a lot of time with me. After going through my entire medical history and examining me including abdomen and fistula (joy joy) she explained the treatment. Since I am not your average patient she will be watching me very closely. She is very concerned about how the treatment will affect my crohns and the fistula. She is going to work with my GI through the treatment. We may have to change my meds a bit. Since the chemo can cause inflammation she wants me to take steroids the day before, the day of, and the day after the treatments which will be every three weeks for 3 to 4 months. The fistula will be a challenge because in reality it is a chronic infection so we have to be very careful that it doesn’t flare and get worse. She wants me to be on an antibiotic during the treatment. She also thinks that she will need to watch my blood count and iron count even more than most patients due to the crohns and fistula. She wants me back on the B12 and depending on the results of my blood work possibly iron. I will probably have my treatments on Tuesdays because that is the only day of the week that she has office hours at the hospital that is closest to me. This way if there is a problem or I need to see her I can do it on the same day. I will probably start the treatments in two weeks. We have to get insurance approval and she wants me to have a PET scan first. Everything is going very quickly which is fine. I want to be feeling good by the spring baseball season. J and B are doing their winter workouts and conditioning and B is still in search of the right college to attend after graduation. Since I will be bald during the baseball season J’s coach gave me a redhawks knit cap to wear to the games. It will be perfect.

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Angry/Why Me Place

The bowel saga continues…I went very quickly back to my version of normal and even quicker to the other extreme of major diarrhea. Fortunately that did not last long and I am back to my normal. Other than that the beast has been quiet. The fistula on the other hand flared right after I came home. Since then it has been draining a lot and goes from hurting really bad to hurting just a little and back to hurting really bad. Last night it was hurting really really bad. So bad that it sent me to that angry/why me place. Isn’t dealing with breast cancer enough? Why do I have to deal with this pain too? Or, I’ve been suffering with Crohns disease so long why do I have to go through breast cancer too. Since the surgery I spend a lot of time sitting because that’s about all I can do. That’s the only time I’m comfortable. Then the fistula flares and I’m not even comfortable sitting. Arrrrggggg! I wonder if the change in my bowels caused the flare? I guess it could be from all the sitting around? Whatever the cause I’ve had enough. Of course as angry as all this makes me I am very thankful that no other crohns related problem has reared its ugly head. I just want it ALL to feel better….please!!! Speaking of sitting around, I don’t usually have the TV on during the day and let me tell you I’m not missing anything. I can’t believe we have all these channels and I still can’t find anything good to watch. I’ve never been fond of game shows and I no longer watch soap operas. I say no longer because years ago when my kids were younger I watched a few soap operas but now I have no desire to watch them. I’m sure if I tuned in it would only take me a few days to feel like I picked up right where I left off lol. Of course with all that’s going on in my life I guess you could say I’m living my own little soap opera…Nahh. I’m also not really crazy about talk shows so unless there is a good movie on I’m more tempted to take a nap. Well actually there are all the reruns of old shows. I do like Everybody Loves Raymond. I could watch that all day. I’m starting to get my appetite back but I don’t have any cravings. It would be nice to crave something I would really enjoy eating. The one thing I always crave and always look forward to is a Starbucks Chai Latte. My sister and sister in law have been bringing me those as often as they can…yum. Well since there is not a Chai Latte on the way that nap is sounding pretty good.

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is
For updates on my Breast Cancer journey go to:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Check That

Did I really say that I was happy to be only going to the bathroom once or twice a day? Did I really think what was happening was normal? Well if that was normal you can have it. I don’t know maybe my intestines just don’t remember what normal is like. Maybe after so many years my intestines just can’t handle being normal anymore. Maybe this just wasn’t really normal. Whatever it quickly made me very unhappy. It got to the point where I always felt like I had to go and so I would climb the stairs and try to go and NOTHING. Or I would go sit for 20 minutes and all I got out was this teeny tiny poop…”that’s it, that’s all? You felt like the rock of Gibraltar”. I got so tired of pushing out a little nothing that felt like a lot of something. If that is normal I don’t want any part of it. I don’t really think I can call it constipation. I don’t think going once or twice a day falls under the constipated heading. How do people who don’t go for days do it? I think it would kill me. I would just die right there on the toilet in the middle of the drop. (Not how I want to go out, not how I want to be remembered…poor girl she just pooped to death) I’ve always said that if I had to choose between diarrhea and constipation I would always pick diarrhea. I have always suspected that constipation was a horrible painful way to go so to speak and now I know I was right. Well silly me what was I thinking…after all I am always right :)

The good news is I’m back to my version of normal…its not ideal but it beats being that other version of normal...

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is
…and may it be a version that you love

For an update on my Breast Cancer journey go to:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who would have thought!!!

Hello my friends. I’m back! My surgery went well and I am now cancer/boob free. Expanders are in place and waiting to be filled :) Pathology was good. The tumor was a bit bigger than they thought 3cm instead of 2cm and they found 1 micro metastasis in one of the lymph nodes they removed which my surgeon is not concerned about but will change my chemo cocktail. My crohns has behaved well through all of this. As a matter of fact the anesthesia and pain killers have slowed my bowels down to a normal persons (who would have thought). I’ve had many surgeries in the past and went right back to my version of normal right away. I of course had no food on Friday but I started eating Saturday…not a lot but enough and I didn’t go till Monday night. Only twice on Tuesday. Only once on Wednesday and so on. As of today I am going only once or twice a day. I’m starting to hope this will last but I’m sure it won’t. I shall enjoy it while it does tho. I’m sure my bathroom misses me hee hee. I should start waving to it when I go past :). My GI wants me to call and let him know how things went. I think I’ll do that next week. Until then

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ok let’s get this over with!

Well my surgery is only a few days away. My crohns is still behaving well and I’ve been being careful to eat well (after my couple days of party food) and drink lots of water. I want to be well hydrated when I get my new boobs to be. I don’t want them stretching dry saggy skin over the next couple months. I really have a good feeling about my crohns staying under control during all of this. I think if it was going to flare it would have by now with all the stress of waiting for the surgery. The thing that freaks me out the most is not knowing what to expect. I am very familiar with surgery and pain just not in that area. It’s always been a bit lower. But pain is pain and I’ve dealt with it most of my life so I think I’ll deal well with this too. So keep me in your thoughts a prayers and I will update you as soon as I can. In the mean time…

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Med = Less Bathroom (so far)

I went to see my GI the other day and we discussed the Pentasa I’ve been taking for longer than I can remember. 2 pills 4 times per day. I was out of refills and needed a new script called in. He told me if I wanted I could take 4 pills 2 times per day or he could switch me to a different drug (Asacol ~ mesalamine ) that was 2 pills 2 times per day. I said sure I’ll try the Asacol. About a week later, after my insurance company approved it (don’t you just love insurance companies) I got it filled and started taking it. I’ve been taking it for about a week now and it is helping better then the Pentasa. I don’t have to go to the bathroom as often woo hoo. As a matter of fact it is 1:42 and I haven’t gone yet. This is like the closest I’ve ever gotten to constipation lol. Going less should be very helpful during mastectomy post-op. My surgery is scheduled for October 22nd which is creeping up on me quickly. I’ve found some very informative blogs that have given me lots of ideas of what to take with me to the hospital and what to expect after the surgery. I’ve started packing a bag already so that I don’t forget anything that I read about. The bad news is my fistula has been acting up. I got a script for Cipro so I hope that gets it under control FAST. I don’t want anything to postpone my surgery. I just want to get this over with. I’m also getting back on track with my gluten free diet. All the junk food is gone. B had some friends over and the gobbled it all up. I want to eat as healthy as I can leading up to the surgery (something I should have been doing all along). Since I’ve been off the vitamin D3 my joints have been hurting more and the past few days have been really bad. This could also be because of the change in the weather. I hope I can get back on the D3 quickly after the surgery is over. Well I will try to update you a few times between now and my surgery. Until then

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Guess What

Guess what??? In honor of October (breast cancer awareness month) I’ve started a new blog. Yep…Its called Your Boobs or Your Life and it will follow my journey beating breast cancer and hopefully the stories of others who have been touched by breast cancer. If you would like to check it out you can go to

Guess what??? I had some pain this morning but thankfully it went away. I’m not sure if it was related to the crohns but I’m glad it didn’t last long. I’ve been a little lazy the past couple days as far as my gluten free diet goes. (This could explain the pain) I have a lot of snack food in the house from the weekend. It was Homecoming and B had friends over after the dance. Oh and

Guess what??? B was on the homecoming court :) I was very very excited about this and yes I took lots of pictures. He didn’t get voted King…darn. He sure did look handsome tho:

Guess what??? Before my snacking weekend I did try some great gluten free products and here they are:

I really loved these english muffins

These them too. I got both at Whole Foods.
I'll share more great gluten free stuff with you later, not because I have to go to the bathroom but because I'm tired!!!

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh NO Not Again

Scene: Doctors waiting room

Enter: Sweetpea and B

There again (or still there…not sure): Smelly perfume lady

Really…REALLY! We walk into the waiting room and immediately B and I look at each other and say OMG she is here. Sure enough there she is, sitting to our left, wearing her bottle of the worst smelling perfume ever. I go over to the window to sign B in and I lean in and tell the receptionist that I have a request. She asks what and I say, “Please tell the patients not to wear awful perfume”. She leans toward me and say’s, “Oh I know I’m getting a headache we have the sign up but they still wear it”. I said “It makes me want to…” and she finished “Throw up”. In addition to the smelly perfume lady we also had the crying baby with noisy toys…at least she was cute.

Well I went to my GI doc Monday just to touch base with him about EVERYTHING. The good news is my Crohns beast seems to be calm even with all the stress. He told me that if anything changes even a little bit to call right away and they will help me any way they can. We talked about all the tests I’ve had done and he ordered blood work to check several things including my liver levels. He wants to keep an eye on that now and especially through the chemo. He told me that he has other patients with Crohns who have gone through cancer treatments and they did not have any additional problems with their Crohns. I told him I would follow up with him after my surgery and after I see the oncologist. He gave me a big hug…he is so wonderful.

Okay ready for some chemo humor:

Top 10 Reasons That Chemo-Induced Baldness is Awesome

#10: Blonde jokes no longer apply to you.

#9: Increased aerodynamics. (important for runners, sky divers, human

#8: You can finally drive your convertible to work. (no more 'wind-tunnel'

#7: You've got a blank canvas for new tattoos.

#6: You're now ready to audition for the Blue Man Group.

#5: Time to get a new driver's license...Hair Color: Invisible. (see how
that one goes over with the cop the next time you're pulled over)

#4: Think of the money you'll more barber/hairdresser,
shampoo, hairspray, dandruff medication, hair dye, etc.

#3: Everyone knows that bald people make better lovers. (and if they
don't, perhaps it's time that you showed them)

#2: It distracts attention from your face. (alright, that was completely
uncalled for)

And the #1 reason that chemo-induced baldness is awesome:

Bald = Sexy (just look at Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, Natalie Portman and Britney
Spears...ok, she's hot in a bald and crazy kind of way)

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Take her perfume…PLEASE!

I had to take B to the doctors last week:

Scene: Doctors waiting room where all crohnies can be found on any given day and today an old lady wearing an entire bottle of the worst smelling perfume ever.

Enter: Sweetpea (me, btw I already have a bad headache) and B

I immediately smell said awful perfume. It fills the room like a bug fogger. I sign B in and we take our seats. They are the only two seats together that are left in the room and they are way too close to smelly perfume lady. Mars would be to close. I’m not sure I can take it. I pull B towards me to try to block the smell. If I could I would bury my face in his armpit because I know it would smell a lot better but I would look even more ridiculous. I say even more because the entire time I am sitting there I have my hand up under my nose as if I am covering a cough…only I am not coughing. I continue to pull B towards me and inform him that I may have to hurl on his shoes. I am just about ready to go up to the window and say “Listen you need to either take her back to a room or us because I can’t stand the smell of her anymore”. Since I know that will get me no where I decide that I’m going to make a run for the hallway when the door opens and they call the woman’s name. I thought for sure her last name would be stinkbug. I was so glad to see her go until I realized she left the awful perfume smell behind. So I continue to sit with my hand under my nose looking around at the other people wondering how they can stand it. Finally they call for B and I almost knock him over as I run to the door. “Room 1” says the nurse. We rush in and I turn to the door as she is closing it “NOooooo this is the room she was in” B (who just happens to be sucking on a cherry lifesaver starts blowing in my face. Ahhhhh cherry lifesavers have never smelled so good. I continue the hand under my nose position. The doctor comes in, checks B’s incision, and gives us his instructions which include returning in two weeks. I try not to knock the doctor over on my way out. We check out with the receptionist and go back in the waiting room. Smelly perfume lady is gone but her perfume remains just as strong, just as smelly. Holding my breath I race to the door and into the hallway. I grab B and say that smell is still in there…what if its still there in two weeks??? Does anyone know where I can buy a cheap gas mask and a sign for the door that says “For the love of God No one is permitted to wear smelly old lady perfume EVER”.

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is
(and pray that smelly perfume lady hasn’t already been there)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finding the Humor Again

CAUTION: If you don’t have a warped sense of humor don’t read this!

Finding the Humor Again

Not that I ever lost it but a cancer diagnose can definitely take the wind out of your sails and let me just say I cried me a river. Its true what they say about stages but its not as clear cut as getting through stage one, onto stage two and three, and never going back. Everyone is different I’m sure. I have gone through most of the “stages” crying, denial, crying, scared, crying, angry, strong and ready to fight. I do not cry nearly as much and with each day the strong and ready to fight lasts a longer but devastation and fear keep creeping back in. Some days I take one step forward two steps back. So today I am very determined to find the humor. Anyone who knows me knows I love to laugh. Comedies are my favorite although I also love the sappy romantic chick flick…I mean who doesn’t but laughing is the best. I LOVE funny people. Anyone who can make me laugh is my friend for life. My family, well of course I love every single one of them. They love me and support me with every single breath and they all have a great sense of humor. Yep they are funny, not as funny as me mind you but they each can come up with some pretty good zingers. When we are together there is always laughter and no subject is off limits. So why should cancer be any different. I needed to find some cancer humor. Now we’ve already had some jokes about how I’m going to have perky new boobs and get a tee-shirt that says “my real ones tried to kill me” lol. Well where do you turn for cancer humor? Google of course! Did you know there are mastectomy greeting cards.

“We wish you a speedy recovery from your vasectomy!" -- "Um...mastectomy."

how about this one

And breast reconstruction cards

Chemo greeting cards

Chemo hair loss cards

And here is a radiation joke

Radiation Glow
I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had a radical orcheictomy on Sept.18/98.
I am currently taking radiation therapy that will be finished on Nov.26/98.
After my first radiation treatment, I was laying in bed that night. The children were finally all asleep. Carol and I could, at last, talk about the day events. We talked about several things, always dancing around how the radiation treatment had gone.
Finally, Carol asked how I was feeling. I told her pretty good, but my skin was a little tender. Carol offered to take a look, pulled the covers back and gasped -- there was a strange green glow coming out from under the blankets.
I had taken a "Glow-stick" and hidden it under the covers.
Great trick for anyone getting radiation . . . just make sure your spouse has a good sense of humor.
Copyright, 1998, Glenn Jeffrey

I am told I don’t need to have radiation so I can’t modify it and pull that one on my hubby…bummer!

Love, LAUGH, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Public Restrooms!

My niece CA sent this to me and I just had to share it with everyone, especially my fellow crohnies

Enjoy! this is absolutely hysterically funny! Hope you laugh as loud as i did

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place.
Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.

You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!
The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty.
You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one,but there isn't - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume " The Stance."
In this position your aging, toneless (God I should have gone to the gym!!!) thigh muscles begin to shake..
You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance".
To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.

In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more.
You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That will have to do. You crumple it in the puffiestway possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.
Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work.
The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet.
"Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT.
It is wet of course.
You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.
You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get".
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes.
The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too
At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat.
You're e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d.
You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.
You are no longer able to smile politely to them.
A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this".
As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men's restroom.
Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?" .................

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms (rest??? you've GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto

Remember way back somewhere around the beginning of August…I said I would tell you all about my tomato adventures with the lovely CA. My beautiful niece who just happens to live a few blocks away and happens to be the bestest neighbor ever! Well I got a little sidetracked by the big C diagnosis but now I’m ready to get back to business and ok ok it’s a good distraction while I sit here waiting for the surgeon to call and give me a date for surgery…

So years ago, before my kids baseball took over my spring, summer, and fall we would plant a huge garden of mostly tomato plants, a few pepper plants, a zucchini, and pumpkin plant. Strange I know who would plant a ton of tomatoes and only a few other odd veggies? Well when you live with 3 males of varying age and you are the only one who will actually eat a vegetable unless it is peeled and seeded and pureed and cooked into tasty homemade spaghetti sauce you throw your hands in the air and you plant tons of tomatoes. The pumpkins by the way were strictly for fall decorating and 2 of the 3 males enjoyed growing them. The oldest male didn’t appreciate that he had to mow around the sprawling vines but he did because like I always say “Happy Wife, Happy Life!!!

Anyway this August CA and I went to Trax Farms, 325 acres of land with a wonderful market where they sell homegrown fruits and vegetables as well as an awesome bakery and deli.

We each bought a half a bushel of beautiful tomatoes.

That night and the next morning we cored


Cooled in ice water


Removed seeds


And since we don’t have all the equipment to actually can the puree we put it in freezer bags to freeze for future use. (This is how I always did it back in the day and it works just as well as canning)

We enjoyed it so much we sent her hubby JA back to get more tomatoes and we spent the next weekend making more puree. Of course I have already made several pots of tasty sauce…nom nom nom…sooooo good if I do say so myself!!!

The Gluten Free Biscuits were made from Chebe All-Purpose Mix and they were very good. I had some with the sauce and the next morning I had some with butter and jelly. I even made a mini sandwich with them...Yum!!!

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In A Nut Shell

So here it is in a nut shell (well it’s more like a coconut shell):
Way back at the end of May I had a routine CT Scan for my Crohns (I blogged about this previously). Somewhere in late June I got the results which showed several things about my Crohns and a few non-crohns things. One was something near my uterus and the other appeared to be the cyst in my breast that has been drained many times. Since the something near the uterus was new I followed up with my GYN about that first. After some testing it proved to be just some fluid in my fallopian tube, no big deal, common when there is a lot of scar tissue in the abdomen. So then I scheduled a mammogram to check on the cyst and I was due for my yearly anyway. I was right, what they saw on the CT Scan was the same cyst but the doctor who looked at my mammogram noticed something else. So after more mammograms and ultrasounds and a biopsy the diagnosis was breast cancer. Let me just say that I thought there were a lot of doctors and test with Crohns hahaha but we have a new winner!!!. Here are the particulars in medical mumbo jumbo:

Diagnosis from core biopsy:
1. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, Intermediate (this is good) Nuclear Grade
2. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ, Intermediate Nuclear Grade

Strongly positive for estrogen, strongly positive for progesterone (this is good, lots of success treating this type)
Negative HER-2/neu, score 1+ (1+ (negative = good))

MRI Findings:
No chest wall involvement (very good)
The mass is about 2.2 cm (small = early = good)

CT Scan:
Lungs clear. No nodules. No enlarged lymph nodes (good but won’t know for sure if there are any lymph nodes involved until surgery pathology is done)

Whole Body Bone Scan:
No evidence of bone metastases

No date for surgery (possible early to mid October). My surgeon is wonderful and very good of course. He is very positive and so am I.

Because of my strong family history of breast cancer (mom, sister, first cousin) I am having a double mastectomy, reconstruction (Yay for perky boobs), followed by chemo, and 5 years of tamoxifen

I saw the plastic surgeon yesterday and he is wonderful as well. We went over all the options and now he just needs to coordinate a date with the surgeon. So I am waiting by the phone and hoping I can get this over with as soon as possible.

I’ve stopped the Cimzia. I can’t be on any drugs that suppress the immune system. Today my tummy has been a bit out of wack so I am trying to stay relaxed and praying that the crohns beast will stay calm through all of this. I have the most wonderful family who has always given me so much love and support and (no surprise) they have been by my side every step of the way. I am usually what one might call a “worrier” and I have to admit that I cried almost nonstop through the testing and for about a week after the diagnosis but I am amazed (once I stopped crying) at how calm I’ve been. A calm that can only come from God. I am so blessed to have so many people praying for me.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

“My faith is strong because I know my God is faithful, and His faithfulness is my shield”

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A New Battle

Hello everyone, I have been away for awhile dealing with a new battle that I need to fight a new battle I intend to win. I’ve been spending lots of time with doctors & having tests done. As a matter of fact this past Thursday and Friday were the only breaks I’ve had except for weekends.

On Aug. 23rd I received the official diagnosis of breast cancer. My doctors are very positive and so am I. I will share all the details with you soon and plan to get back to blogging about crohns living with me and my gluten free adventures and family and baseball…so hang on it might be a little bumpy here and there but God will see me through this too.

Please keep me in your prayers. God is great and the power of prayer is awesome!

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Friday, August 20, 2010

Psalm 91

Hello my faithful readers...I know I said I would blog about my sauce from fresh tomatoes but I have been going through something difficult this past week and have not been online much. While I am not ready to blog about it I do hope that you will keep me in your prayers... "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me"

Psalm 91 (King James Version)

1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Friday, August 13, 2010

For Megan

For my friend Megan who is hurting today.

When you have some time today, no matter what the weather is, go outside, look up at the sky and close your eyes.

If the sun is shining the warmth you feel is me hugging you

If it is raining the raindrops are me wiping your tears away

If there is a gentle breeze on your cheek it is my shoulder for you to lean on

And the soft sounds you hear are me whispering in your ear that you are beautiful and I love you

Written by: CAT 8-13-2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I am happy to say I am still relaxing (much to everyone’s dismay :) I’m almost done with that second book. I am squeezing in some laundry, cleaning, re-organizing my kitchen cabinets (only a few more to go) and linen closet. I have a huge TV on my living room floor and boxes of dishes in my dining room that hopefully will be removed once J moves back to school this weekend. Speaking of dishes I finally have a full matching set again with lots of serving dishes/mixing bowls and so on. Thank you JA *smooch on the cheek*

These restful weeks have been great for my diet too. Its much easier to stick to the gluten free foods while at home as opposed to the endless tour of baseball fields during the season. I hope to try new recipes and products and share my thoughts with you.

I had a wonderful Saturday helping my beautiful niece C watch my beautiful great niece PenPen while her parents went to a wedding hours and hours and hours away. We took her swimming at A’s my other beautiful niece (btw I have lots of beautiful nieces :) Pen is quite the adventurous almost 1 year old. She LOVES being in the pool…see for yourself:

Oh and more piggy toes…I can’t resist them:

On the way to A’s we stopped at Trax Farm and bought some lunch and some wonderful tomatoes, corn on the cob, cheese, fruit, snacks. All Gluten Free of course. My next post will be all about the tomatoes Yummers! Until then

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Friday, August 6, 2010

Kinda Crazy!!!

Hate by itself is the emotional dynamic of the ability to sustain long periods of concentration and meditation. It does not require an object to focus on (it mirrors pure love in this respect) ; it is a general-purpose tool for cutting positive attachments, especially in relationships (for example, pride in hate mode rejects another person, whereas hate by itself rejects any pleasant attachment to the other person). Hate produces clear thinking and strengthens a person’s will power. It supports the desire for solitude. It cools the mind and may easily be mistaken for a mild sense of peace. It is likely to be the prevailing mood when a mediator claims that they are no longer acting from a sense of ego. The skilful way of using hate is to clear the mind of redundant attachments and desires.
Copyright © 2002 Ian Heath All Rights Reserved

Hate is related to hurt out of a sense that someone has done you wrong and you deserve better treatment.

I HATE to think that I am a HATER but there seem to be more and more people that I am certain I HATE. I’ve thought a lot about this emotion because I would much rather LOVE. I came to the conclusion that most of the people I HATE are people who have been HATEFUL to my kids. I have always been of the opinion that if you don’t like me that’s fine because chances are I don’t like you either. I have certainly allowed many people to walk all over me and treat me badly and haven’t really cared one way or another but doing that to my kids is a whole other thing. I freak, flip, have a “CT”. I’ve already mentioned Mr. FF in previous posts. Well there is another person…we will call him Mr. Pee. He was very HATEFUL to my son for a period of time and unfortunately I run into him here and there. I am not one to be rude to anyone so I just keep my distance. If I must walk past him I do just that and say nothing. If he says something to me I answer politely and move on. If he approaches a group that includes me I move on to another area. Recently my son and I ran into Mr. Pee and he came up to my son and acted like they were best friends. J was very polite and answered all his questions about where he was going to school and how college baseball was going for him and I just kept on walking and paid no mind. Mr. Pee went his merry way and J joined me. A few days later I saw someone who knows very well how I feel about Mr. Pee. He saw Mr. Pee a few days after Mr. Pee saw J and I and proceeded to tell him that I stared at him and shot daggers at him and he doesn’t understand why I f-ing hate him and he told him that I am crazy. I told him that Mr. Pee is well aware of why I f-ing hate him and is clearly paranoid (among other things) because I barely looked at him and if I had stared at him I would have to gouge my eyes out. So I came across this t-shirt (which is the reason I am sharing this story with you). It is now my favorite t-shirt and I hope to be wearing it the next time I see Mr. Pee (and I will be sure that he knows exactly what it is like to have daggers shot at him). CRAZY…he ain’t seen nothing yet!!! Hahaha

Well now that I got that off my chest I can tell you what a nice relaxing week I’ve had. No baseball has meant that 1. I can catch up on all the things I’ve let go around the house. (This is going to take a while) 2. We took a weekend and went to the camp which was pure relaxation and enough free time to read/finish a book.

3. Then more relaxing time at home (I started reading another book). I even spent time relaxing on the deck. I haven’t done that since early spring. 4. Shopping (for something other than baseball stuff) 5. Eating three (or more :) meals a day. I haven’t done that since early spring either. 6. More time to blog…I know you all are thrilled about that! The only thing missing is the beach oh how I would love to go there for some R&R.

The crohns beast has been quiet during this resting time except for the last couple days. I have had some pain but so far today I’ve been fine. I think the Cimzia is helping keep the beast happy for the most part. The Vitamin B12 and D3 seem to be keeping my joints happy (very little joint pain since I’ve started those). The new medication for my migraines has been helping but I’m still getting headaches a few times a week so he increased the dose. I hope that helps. J will be moving back to school next week :( and B is having surgery again (the cyst is back) on August 20th. I’m trying not to let the stress of that feed my beast!!! Well I think I'll go relax...

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A little bit of this a lot of that!!!

Busy bee was me…

Don’t know where to start. I’ve been so busy busy busy yet I feel as though I’ve gotten nothing done. How can that be??? Oh yeah…I’ve spent 90% of my time behind third base!!! Baseball season is officially over. J had his last game a few days ago. B had his last game last night and his last workout this morning. I am ready for a break before fall ball starts.

Heres whats been happening:

My crohns beast has been somewhat calm with a few flares here and there. Nothing major thankfully. The new med for my migraines is helping but not as well as the last one that made me crazy. Now that baseball is over I need to schedule the rest of my follow up appoints…Ugh hopefully there won’t be any more poking or prodding. I’11 be getting my Cimzia shots tonight…woo hoo! I've been on it now for over a year and it seems to be working well.

As if I don’t have enough baseball in my life I went to the Pirate game with my hubs, sister, and my lovely girls and some of their guys.

I love this baseball field!!!

And it was fireworks night

We spent a week in Atlanta with B and his team. They played in the Perfect Game tournament and did very well. They placed in the top 25 of over 200 teams.
This was my first gluten free trip and well it wasn’t really all that gluten free…Yes I cheated and I ate gluten foods. Yes I paid for it. I know shame on me but there were just some foods I could not resist while eating on the run. I just had a nibble of these because everyone was raving about them.

While the food was great the hotel was...well NOT. Our room/problems were not too bad (compared to others) but its hard to believe they stay in business. Heres why:

We had two phones in our room

Neither one worked. The maintenance guy could not figure it out and he was very creepy looking so when he offered to come back later I said that’s ok we have cell phones so we don’t really need these to work. Except when we had to call the desk for something and convince them that we were guests of the hotel and no we don’t want someone to come and check the phones.

Our air conditioner did work

But as you can see we had the temp set at 50 degrees and the room was a constant 70+ degrees

Housekeeping was a bit daft. We started off with 4 towels but the next day we got 3
Then the next day we got 4 towels but no wash cloths. Then we got 3 towels, 4 wash cloths and no hand towels and so on for 6 days. They never gave us more shampoo.

One family was moved 3 times because the AC didn’t work at all in their first room, the second room they tried to give them they couldn’t even get into because there was a problem with the door. The third room the toilet didn’t work (a crohnies worst nightmare). Then there was the day the creepy maintenance man pulled a mouse out of the pool filter and a RAT out of the pool drain. He had a little trouble with the rat. He kept trying to pull it out by the tail with pliers and pieces of the tail kept breaking off…needless to say we stayed far away from the pool after that!

If all that isn't enough there was a storm and the hotel got struck by lightning...8 hours without power and we were on the 9th floor. However they had food and an open bar in the lobby to keep us happy.

Right before we left for Atlanta our pool collapsed…a wall of water down the street…14,000+ gallons of it!

J’s season of coaching is over. Other than a few hairy moments with crazy parents and umpires I’d say he enjoyed it. Heres a pic of him coaching:

So thats about it in a nut shell.

Love, Laugh, and Always know where the nearest bathroom is