Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes

The publisher of this cookbook knows of Dom's struggle with cancer and neuropathy.

He's also aware that in recent years, I've been on a healthy eating kick.  He was kind enough to send me this cookbook.  Many thanks, Martine!

Vegan Food You Actually Want to Eat

Who says you have to give up your insatiable need for comfort food just because you want to eat better for yourself, animals and the planet? Enter: The Edgy Veg, the YouTube sensation (with over 250,000+ subscribers and counting) created by the hilarious Candice Hutchings and her husband James Aita who are on a journey to revolutionize vegan food as we know it.

Tired of a traditional plant-based diet that just felt frankly #sad, Candice started veganizing childhood cravings, fast food faves and food-nerd obsessions. Think more UnOrthodox Lox and Cream Cheese Bagels, Cobb Your Enthusiasm Salad, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings 7 Ways, Easy Cheesy Fondue, Chick Fillet Deluxe and Thank You Very Matcha Ice Cream than zucchini noodles, hummus, smoothie bowls and #cleaneating (fear not, there is a token kale salad.) No food is off limits and everything in the book has received their signature carnivore stamp of approval.

With 138 recipes that take vegan cooking to the next level, tips and tricks for eating like an Edgy Veg, and more dad jokes than you can count, say hello to a vegan cookbook you -- and your tastebuds -- can feel good about. It's time to put down that spiralizer and get ready to have your cake, burger and fries, and eat them too!

This is a hardcover 288-page beauty.  Loaded with full-color photos.  It's a very amusing read, as well!  It's a heavy 2 + pounds, measuring about 8x10.

Get it on Amazon here:

The Edgy Veg

Friday, October 6, 2017

We've Had an Amazing Week

We had a lot of "firsts".

Dom got up on his tractor and bush-hogged the driveway.  It was tough for him to use his left leg on the clutch, so he's going to wait a couple of weeks before he tries it again.

He drove us to Slidell in his Silverado for flu shots on Tuesday.  Drove over 100 miles.... interstate, back roads and main roads.  It did wonders for his attitude.

Today, he drove to Physical Therapy.  They're now working on his upper body strength and added weights to his feet for leg lifts.  They're VERY pleased with his progress.

Recently, his oncologist upped the dosage of his Gabapentin to 900 mg. per day.  It's starting to kick in.  He's experiencing shooting pains running from his calfs down to his feet.  That's a GOOD THING!

Thank you for the continued prayers and good wishes.  He's a man on a mission!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rest In Peace, Mimi

Our little girl passed away yesterday.  Our friends, Al and Ada had given us 2 kittens.... siblings.  Bonnie and Clyde.

Very soon, Bonnie had kittens of her own.  Mimi was the runt of the litter.

We figured out that she was at least 25 years old.  Maybe 26!

She was one tough outside cat.  Lost her hearing and had only 1 good eye.  Dunno how she survived the local coyotes and bobcats!

Korean Ground Beef Bowls

This is a new favorite!


1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Small can of Portabello Mushroom chunks
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups hot cooked white or brown rice  (We had ours over chow mein noodles)
sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

In a large skillet cook the ground beef, onions, garlic and mushrooms breaking it into crumbles over medium heat until no longer pink.  Dump in your frozen veggies.

In a small bowl whisk brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper flakes and pepper. Pour over the ground beef and let simmer for another minute or two.

Serve over hot rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa

Dom LOVED this.  Me-  meh.  I dunno if I'm losing my taste for Quinoa or what.  The last couple of times I made it didn't trip my trigger.  A year ago, I couldn't get enough of the stuff.  This tasted too vinegary.  But, Dom oohs and ahhs over it.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2-4 dashes hot sauce (optional)
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound or so of raw shrimp (fresh or frozen and defrosted)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, pepper, garlic, and hot sauce (if using). Stir until well blended and set aside.

Combine quinoa and 1 3/4 cups water in a pot. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

While quinoa is cooking, begin cooking shrimp: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and shrimp. When shrimp begin to turn pink, add sauce and continue to cook, stirring frequently.

When shrimp is cooked through, add quinoa, and stir until well combined. Drizzle with fresh lime juice.

Asian Sesame Chicken Wings

These were out of this world.  We never fry wings anymore.  Baking Powder in the oven is the way to go.  Crispy on the outside and juicy inside.  We had these with Wendy's Dirty Rice on the side.


3 pounds of chicken wings (about 18), cut at joints and wing tips discarded
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt

Asian Sesame Sauce:
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
sesame seeds and extra green onion for serving


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Combine baking powder and salt together in a bowl or ziplock bag.
Pat wings dry with a paper towel.
Toss wings in the baking powder/salt until evenly coated.
Place the wings in a single layer on a wire rack that's on a baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes on the lower-middle oven rack.
After 30 minutes, move the wings to the upper middle rack, turn the oven heat to 425 degrees and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and toss with sauce. Let sit a few minutes to soak in the sauce. Toss again. Top with extra green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy!

For the sauce:

Combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, green onions and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Visit to a Neurologist

Our Slidell oncologist sent us to a Neurologist in Lacombe, LA.  Dr. Becker at the Northlake Neurological Institute.

Went to see him on Monday.  He spent about 40 minutes checking out Dom's neuropathy.  Really NICE guy.

He had us return yesterday for some testing of his legs and feet:

Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test

What is it?
A nerve conduction velocity test, also called a nerve conduction study, measures how quickly electrical impulses move along a nerve. It is often done at the same time as an electromyogram, in order to exclude or detect muscle disorders.

A healthy nerve conducts signals with greater speed and strength than a damaged nerve. The speed of nerve conduction is influenced by the myelin sheath—the insulating coating that surrounds the nerve.

Most neuropathies are caused by damage to the nerve's axon rather than damage to the myelin sheath surrounding the nerve. The nerve conduction velocity test is used to distinguish between true nerve disorders (such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) and conditions where muscles are affected by nerve injury (such as carpal tunnel syndrome).

Why should I do it?
This test is used to diagnose nerve damage or dysfunction and confirm a particular diagnosis. It can usually differentiate injury to the nerve fiber (axon) from injury to the myelin sheath surrounding the nerve, which is useful in diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

How is it performed?
During the test, flat electrodes are placed on the skin at intervals over the nerve that is being examined. A low intensity electric current is introduced to stimulate the nerves.

The velocity at which the resulting electric impulses are transmitted through the nerves is determined when images of the impulses are projected on an oscilloscope or computer screen. If a response is much slower than normal, damage to the myelin sheath is implied. If the nerve's response to stimulation by the current is decreased but with a relatively normal speed of conduction, damage to the nerve axon is implied.

How will it feel?
There is generally minimal discomfort with the test because the electrical stimulus is small and usually is minimally felt by the patient.

Electromyography (EMG)

What is it?
An electromyogram (EMG) is a test that measures the electrical activity of a muscle. It detects any signs of blocking or slowing down of responses to nerve stimulation. The test provides information about the muscle itself and shows how well it receives stimulation from the nerve. A nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test is often done at the same time as an EMG.

Why should I do it?
An EMG is often used to evaluate unexplained muscle weakness, twitching or paralysis, and to find the causes of numbness, tingling and pain. EMG testing can differentiate between true weakness and reduced use because of pain or lack of motivation. It can also determine whether a muscle disorder begins in the muscle itself or is caused by a nerve disorder.

How is it performed?
In an EMG, a physician or technician inserts a very fine needle, which serves as an electrode, through the skin into the muscle. With the electrode in place, the patient is asked to slowly contract the muscle—for example, by bending the arm—with gradually increasing force, while the electrical activity is being recorded. The activity can be displayed visually on an oscilloscope or screen, or played audibly through a speaker. The results can provide information about the ability of the muscle to respond to nerve stimulation.

How will it feel?
The patient may feel some minor discomfort, similar to an injection, when the needle or needles are inserted. Afterward, the examined muscle may feel tender or sore for a few days, and there may be a small bruise.

Doc performed the above tests and concluded that Dom had severe acute neuropathy from his chemotherapy, as well as atrophy from loss of movement.

The Good News is that nerves will come back at the rate of 1 inch per month.

As far as the muscles, his Physical Therapy is helping.

Dom is also taking 900 mg. of Gabapentin per day.  He's starting to get back some feeling (pain) in his feet.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Can It & Ferment It

I was tickled to receive this book from the publisher.  I've always been too intimidated to can.  This publication has built my confidence!

When things finally return to "normal" around here, I'm going to start canning!

Welcome to the world of produce preservation. In Can It & Ferment It, blogger and preservation enthusiast Stephanie Thurow brings the canning and fermenting communities together by offering recipes that work for both canning and fermenting. From a first-timer to the advanced preservationist, Can It & Ferment It shows canners and fermenters alike how they can have the best of both worlds.

Stephanie explains the differences between the canning and fermentation processes, emphasizes the importance of using local and organic produce, describes canning and fermenting terminology and the supplies needed for both methods, and offers more than seventy-five fun and easy recipes for every season. Readers will learn how to preserve each fruit or vegetable in two different ways; each can be enjoyed water bath–canned or as a healthy, probiotic-rich ferment.

Recipes in this helpful guide include strawberry chutney, the perfect garlic dill pickle, spring onion kimchi, cinnamon-honey apple butter, and more!

This is a nice hardback book with full-color photos and EASY instructions.

I especially like that recipe pages have a "NOTES" section.

It's Been a GREAT 2 Days!

We're finally starting to see light at the end of this dreary tunnel.

Yesterday we had an appt. with Dr. Becker at the Northlake Neurological Institute.

Nice, nice guy.  He spent probably 40 minutes with Dom.  Checked his reflexes, etc.  We're going back on Thursday for some type of "nerve testing".  I believe that it will entail electricity, pins, rubber mallet, etc.

He reassured Dominic that he's had plenty of Chemo patients in the same boat.  We're very hopeful!

Later, we went to Physical Therapy.  He's really busting his ass and performing better each session.  He finally realizes that he's getting stronger.

Which leads us to today:

He got out of his wheelchair and got into his Silverado truck!  Took it for a spin around the property with NO PROBLEM!

That did wonders for his attitude!

So..... we're feeling GREAT today!  Thank you for the continued prayers and thoughts, gang!

Thursday, September 21, 2017


I was sent a copy of this cookbook from the publisher.  It's a lovely, heavy, spiral bound publication with gorgeous full-color illustrations.

The timing of this was wonderful, as Dom and I are unable to travel until we get him out of the wheelchair/physical therapy/stem cell transplant-  So, this will be my go-to weekend cookbook!
Quick and easy meals will always have a place in our kitchens (and in our hearts), but sometimes it’s nice to take your time and put a meal together with a little extra care and love. This all-new collection of recipes will tempt family and friends to the table for Sunday supper, or for a home-cooked dinner any day of the week.

Whether you want to prepare an elegant feast for a special occasion or need some simple ideas for meals that will entice your family back to good food, good conversation and laughter at the dinner table, these recipes celebrate what’s on the table – and who’s around it.

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth is a blogger and food writer with 15 years of professional writing. Sue Duncan grew up cooking and eating at every opportunity with her best friend Julie Van Rosendaal, who is a regular CBC radio food columnist, food writer and editor. The three of them grew up enjoying Best of Bridge recipes so they're absolutely thrilled to be carrying on the legacy. They are authors of Best of Bridge Home Cooking and Best of Bridge The Family Slow Cooker.

I HIGHLY recommend this cookbook.  Get it here: BEST OF BRIDGE

Or Here:

Spiral-bound: 324 pages
Publisher: Robert Rose; Spi edition (September 19, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778805751
ISBN-13: 978-0778805755
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.5 x 10.5 inches

It's Nice to be Loved- Such WONDERFUL Friends

We were stunned at the outpouring of help and love from our small social circle.

Firstly, Richard McM appeared with a wheelchair for Dom and built a wheelchair ramp from our Kitchen down to the Living Room.

He returned the next day to "tweak" the ramp and remove our Master bathroom door and knocked out the door frame.  Such a great help.  We love you, "Big Rich"!!!!
Secondly, a family friend from Newbury, Ohio insisted on sending us a Transport Chair.  Someone had done it for her, and she wanted to "Pay it Forward".  (I promised her that I would do the same).  Wouldn't you know it-  Amazon delivered a beautiful new transport chair just 2 days later! I'm able to lift it easily.  I'm keeping it in the hatchback of my Eclipse.

So very thoughtful.  We LOVE YOU, Rondi!
Shortly after this, Dom ordered a Burn Barrel.  Dennis and Cheryl picked it up, cut the bottom off of it and set it up for me.  THANKS, guys!  We LOVE YOU!
Then, last week, Wendy and Bubby literally FILLED my refrigerator and freezer with oodles of food.  Red Beans/Rice with Sausage, White Beans with Ham, Chicken and Dumplings, Dirty Rice (better than Popeyes!!!).  Into the refrigerator went Crawfish Pasta Salad and delicious Potato Salad.

Bubby is returning soon with a friend to remove the cap off of Dom's pickup truck.  I can't see out the rearview mirror and don't trust myself driving that big thing with side mirrors.  What a GREAT help you have been to us!  Many THANKS!

WHAT WONDERFUL FRIENDS WE HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Busy Few Weeks- Hanging in There!

Hi gang-

Dom is just finishing up his 3rd week of Physical Therapy.  We love the entire team and are hopeful that he'll strengthen.

Each visit (3 times a week), they're introducing new exercises and he's outdoing himself.  The man is driven!

We had a busy day yesterday.  Slidell Oncologist at 10:30.  A long lunch at the great Mexican joint next door.  They back to the Cancer Center for a Zometa drip.  His hip is killing him today, so the stuff is "doing it's thing", happily.  Our last stop was Physical Therapy, which went well.

Our Slidell Oncologist has referred Dom to a well-known Neurologist in Lacombe, LA.  We have an appointment on Monday morning.  We're hopeful that this guy will figure something out.

Dom is still in a wheelchair and gets around with a walker with the help of his therapists.

We're headed to Tulane during the first week of October.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Physical Therapy

Well, Dom started Physical Therapy on Monday.  Three days per week.  So far, so good.

He's still in a wheelchair, but they've got him strengthening his ankles and knees and walking with a walker.

His neuropathy is horrible.  He cannot feel his feet.

Our next appointment is with his Slidell oncologist in about 2 1/2 weeks.  Then Tulane Cancer Center the following week.

We're also back to weekly blood work.  He got a little "kooky/confused" on Wed., so we had blood work done today.  I pumped him full of salt Wed. afternoon, and he snapped out of his daze.

Low Sodium in Blood (Hyponatremia): Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

I never realized how dangerous this can be!

While many of us are trying to reduce the amount of sodium we ingest, there are some people who need to boost their intake. Low sodium in blood is medically referred to as hyponatremia and can lead to serious consequences if left untreated. As we need sodium for proper functioning, it is important to understand what causes low levels and to be aware of hyponatremia symptoms.

We need sodium to help maintain blood pressure, regulate fluids, and aid in the function of our nerves and muscles. The official hyponatremia definition is the lack of sodium in the blood necessary to regulate the water used by our cells. Once the sodium level drops, our cells expand from the abundance of water present in the blood. This can cause mild symptoms of nausea and headaches and eventually lead to rapid brain swelling and death.

A normal sodium level is between 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Hyponatremia is present when levels drop below 135 mEq/L. We will next investigate hyponatremia causes.

What Causes Low Sodium in Blood?

Hyponatremia causes can be linked to direct and indirect factors. As our blood sodium levels drop, it is important to take note of recent lifestyle changes, any existing or new health conditions, and possible effects of prescribed medication.

1. Excess Water Intake

The sodium levels in our blood become depleted as we sweat, and we may overcompensate by drinking too much water. Strenuous exercise such as running can cause us to sweat profusely and replenishing with water may dilute our sodium content.

2. Dehydration

On the flip side, we can easily become dehydrated by not drinking sufficient amounts of water. This stage causes us to lose electrolytes such as sodium and other fluids.

3. Hormonal Changes

Health conditions affecting our hormone balance can also cause hyponatremia. Our adrenal glands produce hormones to help balance the water, sodium, and potassium levels. Low functioning adrenal glands and an underactive thyroid will cause sodium levels to drop.

4. Drugs

Over-the-counter and prescribed medications may have an adverse effect on the sodium levels in our blood. These can include antidepressants, pain relievers, and diuretics. The recreational drug known as ecstasy can lead to a rapid drop in sodium levels that may result in death.

5. Severe Diarrhea or Vomiting

We may lose valuable nutrients, electrolytes, and fluids through severe bouts of diarrhea and vomiting.

6. Chronic Illness

Certain health conditions can create an environment within our body where fluid retention is a major factor. The buildup of water will quickly lower sodium blood levels. This can include heart, liver, and kidney disease.

7. Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH)

SIADH leads the body to produce the antidiuretic hormone, also known as vasopressin, in excess. The resulting water retention can cause sodium levels to decrease.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hyponatremia

There are several symptoms that indicate the sodium levels in your blood have dropped too low. Initial stages of low levels may not present any symptoms unless they drop rapidly.

Weakness  DOM
Fatigue   DOM
Confusion  DOM
Cramping or muscle spasms  DOM
Loss of consciousness

If you seek medical advice for any of these symptoms, you can expect a thorough examination by your physician. Based on your symptoms, the physical examination, and details of your medical history, you may be required to undergo a series of tests. A diagnosis of hyponatremia may result from an osmolality (chemical) blood test, a urine osmolality, a comprehensive metabolic panel, or a urine sodium test.

How to Increase Sodium Levels

Hyponatremia treatment starts with increasing sodium levels in the blood as determined by the cause. Under a doctor’s care, or as an existing hospital patient, you may receive a prescribed dose of diuretics, a sodium solution through intravenous injection or pill form, for the symptoms.

There are some suggestions for low sodium treatment at home, which also may help to prevent levels from dropping.

1. Sodium-Infused Juices

Drinks enriched with sodium such as vegetable juices can boost your blood sodium levels. An eight-ounce glass of the popular V8 brand may contain up to 500 milligrams of sodium, so be mindful of your daily intake. You can balance sodium levels with a low-sodium vegetable juice if in need of a smaller boost.

2. Maintain Adrenal Glands Production

You can keep your adrenal glands working properly by maintaining a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, coconut products, seaweed, and foods enriched in B vitamins. Our adrenal glands also need appropriate sleep, rest, and exercise to produce sufficient hormones to balance the electrolyte levels.

3. Replenish Electrolytes

Not just for athletes, sports drinks can help to replenish sodium levels, especially after a strenuous workout or run. The best sports drinks will have 100 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 milligrams of potassium in an eight-ounce serving.

4. Limit Certain Drinks

When looking for high-sodium drinks to increase levels, limit beverages that do not have any nutritional benefit. Drinks such as hot chocolate, flavored coffees, and fruit juices may have high sodium content but do not offer essential nutrients.

A low sodium in blood level can lead to scary outcomes if ignored. Although the American Heart Association estimates 97% of Americans consume too much sodium, hyponatremia is a common condition. We rely on sodium for the proper functioning of many organs, including our skin cells. Blood sodium levels can drop gradually or rapidly, depending on the underlying cause. Symptoms and the condition of hyponatremia may be treated and possibly prevented with lifestyle choices and remedies.

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's Been ROUGH Around Here

Dom's neuropathy has gotten so bad that he's now in a wheelchair.  He can't feel his feet.

A dear friend, Richard McM came over to build a wheelchair ramp for him.  Unfortunately, Dom is using my dad's old wheelchair-  probably 30 years old and HEAVY.  I can barely move it into my car.

On Wed., we had an appointment with Dr. Safah at Tulane.  She's going to arrange for a few weeks of physical therapy to get him walking again, then putting him back on a different chemo. She said that besides the neuropathy, his muscles have atrophied after a couple months of inactivity.

We came home very hopeful-  feeling positive- happy to be back with Dr. Safah.

We stopped to get some food to go on the way home.

Dom went to bed after eating.

I noticed that there was a message on the answering machine.

It was Dr. Safah's nurse telling us to get to an emergency room IMMEDIATELY.  His sodium was "critically low" at 120.  (Hyponatremia)

So... off we go to Our Lady of the Angels ER in Bogalusa, LA-  about 15 miles away.

The ER doctor told me to go home, as he would be admitted.

They finally put him in a private room at about 10 pm.  By that time, his sodium had dropped to 119.

They pumped him full of sodium and released him last night once he reached 130.

Got home around 7:30 pm.  He fell TWICE last night using a walker.  He cannot feel his feet or calves.

So, now I'm working on getting him a wheelchair.  Hoping that Tulane will do it.  He called our VA Rep this morning, and she said that if he got an appointment with the VA  (ha-ha), they'd pay for it.

I'm waiting to hear from Dr. Safah's folks to obtain a lightweight wheelchair that I can lift for him.

So-  kinda "gloom and doom" here.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Fun Week with My Big Brother

Brother Ric flew down from Ohio for a week to visit.

It was non-stop fun.

Took him to 4 local joints for seafood, burgers and beers.

One day, Richard McM brought a young guy over to Weed-Whack for 6 hours.  Dennis, Cheryl and their adorable little dog, Maggie joined us, too.  Dom and Ric went into Bogalusa to get a lot of Popeye's Chicken, dirty rice, red beans/rice and biscuits.

Friday was Dom's 72nd birthday, so Ric took the 3 of out for delicious steaks.

It was so sad to see him go home on Saturday.

Crossroads Seafood

Applebee's for Steaks

Austin-  A Hard Worker

Dom is a Hurtin' Little Cowboy

Well, gang-  This Velcade/Revlimid treatment has really clobbered him.

Over the course of 8 days, he was admitted to 2 separate hospitals overnight.

His neuropathy started traveling up his legs, just below the knees.

He gets extremely dizzy and almost falls down.

Blood Pressure is either very low or slightly elevated.

He's seeing flashes of light.

He's now walking with a walker.

His hands are starting to go numb.

You get the idea-  he's a MESS.

So, his Slidell Oncologist took him off of Chemo.

We'll be heading to Tulane Cancer Center soon.  We have an appointment for the 31st, but they'll probably want him in there sooner.

(Thalidomide was like a walk in the park compared to this treatment!)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

MRI.....AB FAB News!

I just got a call from the Slidell Cancer Center....


The pain in his right hip is probably a pinched nerve.

The LEFT hip has improved!  (Maybe the Zometa is working already)

Music to our ears!

(Our patient has been in bed all day, but hoping he'll perk up in the morning.)

Thanks for the continued prayers, gang!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Dom Update - Bed during the weekend, then back at it.

He had been feeling very weak and woozy since last week.  He basically spent the weekend in bed.

On Monday, we headed into Bogalusa to have his weekly blood work done.  I dropped him off at the door to shop and returned to find out that he couldn’t make the walk to the lab.  They kindly gave him a wheelchair.

Yesterday was a FULL day.  He had an MRI appointment at 11:30 at the hospital.  Then, the Cancer Center nurse asked us to come right over.  She had looked at his blood work to see that his Potassium was way down.

So, he got his Velcade injection, followed by a 2-hour infusion of Potassium and liquids.  (Saline)  Our Oncologist was on vacation (again), so one of his associates gave him a prescription for daily Potassium supplements.

He felt GREAT last night.

He felt GREAT this morning.  Got out of bed, made his own breakfast, watched television, then got up, started to walk and got dizzy.

There’s no doubt that his blood pressure dropped and he was too much in a hurry to get moving.  So.... he’s promised me that he will sit for awhile.  Slowly stand for awhile.  THEN walk.

So, this is all very frustrating, but we seem to be getting somewhere with the Potassium and Fluid infusions.  And happily, there seems to be a better communication with his health care team.

Back to the Cancer Center on Friday morning for Velcade, then he's got the next week OFF.  YAY!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Update on Dom

It’s been a rough week.

Dom’s 3 1/2 inch lesion is on his LEFT HIP.

This week, his RIGHT HIP started killing him.

I sent an email to our liaison nurse at the Slidell Cancer Center on Wednesday afternoon to request an MRI.  (Which is how they found his hip lesion)

She didn’t bother to return my email or call us.

Went to Slidell for his chemo on Friday.  Dom went into our doctor’s office to bitch.

Doc was OFF for the day.  Apparently, there were NO doctors on Friday.

He said that he wanted an MRI-  now!

Finally, one of the nurses told him to go the Emergency Room.  They would be expecting him.

Sure enough, they got him into a room quickly.

TWO HOURS LATER, the ER doc said that they had FINALLY got a hold of his Oncologist.  Said that there was no need for an MRI until next week.  The ER doc apologized for the lack of communication. (He was a sweet guy-  loved him)

It turns out that our liaison did, in fact, see the email.  Apparently ignored it.

When we Igot home, there was a phone message from her, asking how it went today.  You think I’m going to return her call?  NO EFFING WAY.

So, MRI is scheduled for Tuesday.

We switched from NOLA to Slidell for convenience.  We're having 2nd thoughts.  Going to see our Tulane Oncologist on August 31st.  She'll decide if he's ready for the SCT after doing a bone marrow biopsy and check his M-Spike.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Killer Green Beans! (With bacon and mushrooms)

We had A LOT of beans this year.  Green beans, Wax beans, and Purple pole beans.  I had to get creative-  These were delicious-


6 strips bacon, diced
Handful of sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
1/4 onion, diced
Green Beans
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste


In a frying pan, cook the bacon pieces until crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel to drain. Drain the bacon fat from the pan, reserving a couple tablespoons. Add the reserved bacon fat back to the pan. Add the mushrooms and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, saute the mushrooms and onion until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms have released their liquid and have begun to brown.

While the mushrooms and onion are cooking, put the green beans into a microwave safe dish. Add enough water to cover the beans. Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Drain.

Add the drained beans to the pan with the mushrooms and onions. Add the bacon pieces back into the pan. Add the lemon juice. While gently stirring, saute for 2 or 3 minutes.

New Raccoon Kids and Some Gorgeous Sunsets

Mama FINALLY brought her 3 kids for a visit.  They're THISCLOSE to eating out of my hand.  They watch intently as I feed their mama.

This is the 5th or 6th generation for us.  Looking back, the babies always appear in threes in Mid-July.  They give me such great pleasure.

Mama hates these hot summer months, as she can't get my attention.  We keep the a/c on and the house closed up.  Spring and Fall, we have the house open to get a breeze through the screen doors.  We'll be watching TV and hear a "rap rap rap".  It's my girl knocking on the screen door on her back legs looking in.

Sadly with the doors closed, we can't hear her knocking.  (Thus, I'm constantly getting up and peeking out the window)

We've been having KILLER sunsets this past week.  Glorious!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Modern Jewish Table: 100 Kosher Recipes from around the Globe

The publisher of this cookbook was kind enough to send me this beautiful hardcover cookbook.

It's beautifully put together with gorgeous full-color glossy photos.

I've never cooked "Kosher", but I'll give some of these recipes a whirl!

It'll be nice to expand my cooking horizons!

Strap on your apron, reinvent tradition, and fill your Jewish kitchen with global flavors.

The Modern Jewish Table is the new, essential kosher cookbook for every Jewish home, whether you are a reluctant cook or a dedicated balabusta. Bringing their fun, upbeat, and infectious brand of energy to the kitchen, self-proclaimed Jewish Princesses Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn don their high heels and aprons to revamp the kosher kitchen and raise the culinary bar. It’s no longer just chopped liver, chicken soup, and matzo bread; instead, learn to make Mock Chopped Liver, Sephardi Saffron Chicken Soup, and Princess Pitta Bread!

Writing from the point of view of the average home cook, the Jewish Princesses dish out their witty know-how and inspire amateur cooks to create simple and hip recipes, with all the short cuts included, even as they entice “professional” home cooks to revitalize traditional Jewish fare with uniquely global flavors. Learn to make delightful pareve desserts and meals fit for a Passover feast, as well as:

• Street Food Gefilte Fish Bites
• Crème Fraiche Vegetable Latkes
• Cohen-Tucky Baked Chicken
• Princess Pad Thai
• Kunafa Middle Eastern Cheese Cake
• Cuban Sweet Corn Soufflé, and more!

Complete with stunning photography, outrageous tips, and a dash of chutzpah, The Modern Jewish Table introduces innovative dishes that will soon become Jewish traditions for the future.

PRE-ORDER Here. Releasing on Aug. 15, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Multiple Myeloma | Symptoms, Signs and Easy Indicating Stages for this Disease

Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma


Dom is having a pretty rough way to go during this treatment.  Actually, Thalidomide was like a walk in the park compared to Velcade, Revlimid and Dex.

His blood pressure is all over the place.  He’s been on blood pressure medication for many years.  Our family doctor took him off of it while he’s going through this.

A typical morning:

Gets out of bed at 8 am.  While watching television, sitting on the couch, his blood pressure is 130/80.  GREAT.

Gets hungry.  Walks with his cane 20 feet into the kitchen.  Grabs a bite to eat, then hobbles back to the couch.  Starts feeling woozy.  Blood pressure has dropped to 60/something.

An hour later, blood pressure returns to normal.

He cannot function with these fluctuations.  He’s also getting flashes of color in his peripheral vision from time to time.

I’m doing all of the driving.  We’re both very tired.  Drive into Bogalusa, LA every Monday for lab work.  Velcade injections in Slidell on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Drive into NOLA to see Dr. Safah at the Tulane Cancer Center every couple of months. Monthly infusion of Zometa.  Here’s a look at this month:

So, we're hanging in there and sure looking forward to finishing this treatment and get on with the transplant.

300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes

I received this great cookbook the other day from the publisher.  It couldn't have come at a better time-  My brother is flying in from Ohio for a visit in a couple of weeks and we'll be firing up the grill often!  We're really looking forward to experimenting with these recipes.

300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes

How to barbecue and grill everything from a steak to an apple.

This superb collection of recipes for the barbecue and grill is not only bold, it shares many grilling secrets from expert chefs. The recipes deliver flavors that will blow away the toughest critic in the family.

Each recipe has tips on how to build that bold flavor before, during and after barbecuing. The authors provide instructions for barbecuing or grilling virtually any food. From planking and rotisserie cooking to barbecuing a whole hog or lamb, from grilling "all piastra" to "alla brace," from stir-grilling to grill-roasting, from grilling foods wrapped in a banana leaf to grilling with a kiss of smoke, and from achieving a "bark" on barbecued pork shoulder to herb grilling, this book reveals all. Bringing a steak to that perfect "black and blue" or any other degree of doneness is easier than ever.

Here is a sampling of the recipes, which yield delectable results every time:

*Slow-smoked country-style ribs
*Black and blue beef sirloin served over greens
*Red-hot grilled wings with cold Maytag blue cheese dipping sauce
*Lamb souvlaki with grilled pita bread and Greek yogurt sauce
*Arctic char with grilled lemon halves
*Planked shrimp with garlic chive butter and ciabatta
*Prairie-style smoked bison chili
*Brie and pepper stuffed portobellos
*Grilled apple rings with cider bourbon cream sauce.

A special chapter is devoted to rubs, brines, mops, sops, bastes, glazes, BBQ sauces, slathers, vinaigrettes, pestos, flavored butters and dipping sauces. Also included are charts for every type of food and cooking technique as well as an encyclopedia of ingredients.

This is the home chef's ultimate book on barbecue and grilling.

This cookbook is over 400 pages and loaded with beautiful full-color glossy photographs.

Get it From AMAZON here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Walk With Purpose: Memoir of a Bioentrepreneur

I thought that this publication would be of interest to you guys-

About the Book:  

With a prolific career in biotechnology, serving as CEO of two companies who worked in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, Michael Becker knew and understood cancer. It was his job. So, when he was looking in the mirror at age 47 and saw a lump in his neck that wasn’t there the day before, he knew something was wrong. After several tests and agonizing waiting periods for results, his worst fears were confirmed – he was diagnosed with stage IV oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancer in December 2015. While initial treatment appeared successful, his cancer returned in December 2016 and he was given about a year to live.

What does someone do with a diagnosis like that? Everyone would react different. For Becker, he became determined to share his story of adversity and daily triumph, which is all chronicled in his new non-fiction autobiographical book, A Walk With Purpose: Memoir of a Bioentrepreneur. Part memoir, part fascinating look inside the biotechnology industry, A Walk With Purpose takes readers down his career path from an investment advisor to chief executive officer of an oncology-focused biotechnology company, to finally ending on the other end of the industry: a terminal cancer patient facing his own mortality. This fast-moving, fascinating and heart-wrenching memoir shows a personal account of all sides of the oncology biotech industry: from CEO to patient.

Available NOW on Amazon

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Patient Update

Dom will be finishing his 4th week of Chemo on Friday.... then off for an entire week.

This Velcade and Revlimid have been tough on the poor guy.  His blood pressure got very low, so he cut way back yesterday.

Needless to say, heads exploded at the Cancer Center today.

So.... tomorrow, our ONLY day off this week, we're headed BACK to Slidell to see our Dr. Culasso...  to get a handle on his blood pressure and our annual check-ups.

We have an appointment at our Tulane Oncologist, Dr. Safah on Thursday.  She's the one who's calling the shots.  Slidell is much more convenient for us, but Tulane will be harvesting the Stem Cells and performing the transplant.

Dom gets SO tired, has dizzy spells, has to lay down at times.  This has been rough on him.  The Thalidomide 9 years ago was like a walk in the park compared to this.  (Of course, he's 9 years older, too!)

So... thanks for your continued prayers and positive vibes.  We'll take whatever we can get!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Christine's Visit- What a Fun Week!

We had a GREAT VISIT from our daughter who lives in Colorado!

We did a lot of running around.  The above pictures were taken at Fatty's in Picayune.  About 20 minutes away.  Dom and I split their club sandwich, Christine got a Catfish Poboy.  Dynamite Onion Rings with an Abita Beer batter!

One of her local gals Nicole, who we adore, spent the night with us. We indulged in Moscow Mules.  The 3 gals went to The Italian Grille for one of their KILLER pizzas the next day.

Margaritas and a late lunch after one of Dom's doctor appointments at El Paso Mexican Grill.  This place is conveniently located next to Dom's oncologist!

We took a road trip to Pascagoula, MS. to see a doctor about a VA Disability Claim.  Thankfully, President Trump has the VA "farming out" patients to private doctors.  This guy was a doll!

Afterward, the 3 of us headed to The Texas Roadhouse for a lovely dinner.  (Christine found a $100 bill on the floor underneath our booth!)

We BBQd one day while waiting for Dom's shipment of Revlimid and steroid delivery.

Christine carted us around all week, which gave me a nice break.

We're back on our Chemo schedule for 2 weeks.

Our patient is doing very well.  Tired, but very well!

Thanks for the continued prayers and positive vibes.  We'll take them!