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

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