Thursday, June 20, 2019

We Had Quite the Morning

Hi there, gang.

We had quite the morning.  We saw Dr. Mannina the Radiology Oncologist at 8:30.

He informed us that Dom had broken ribs on the right, new lesions on the left, and a large lesion on his right hip.

A year or so ago was when Dom had a Plasmacytoma on his right hip.  That's when he fell out of an 8-year complete remission.

So, here's the plan:

We go in Tuesday afternoon to get measured for a contraption that will hold Dom's arms over his head.

He'll get about 30-minute sessions when they're ready to get started.  Dr. Mannina is going to blast the hip, and "graze" both sides of his ribcage so as not to affect any internal organs.

He sent us downstairs for Dom's 8th Darzalex infusion.

When we arrived at the infusion center, the gang had Dom all set up in his favorite "corner office".  A lot of room and not sitting on top of anybody.

The volunteer already had our Diet Cokes, candy bar, pillow and blanket waiting for him.  This guy, Richard is a DOLL.  His wife is currently getting treatment for Breast Cancer, so he knows all too much about the ups and downs of treatment.

Our nurse cleaned his port and started the steroid infusion.

Brian, our favorite nurse from Dr. Calabresi office next door came running in...  "STOP  STOP!".

After consulting each other, the 2 doctors didn't want any Darzalex in his system for next week.

Sooooo...  Fitting on Tuesday, then 10 Radiation Treatments, THEN back on the Darzalex.

As you guys all know, the Radiation works wonders for pain, so we're happy to get started.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Dom's in a LOT of Pain

He had a full body bone-scan done a couple of weeks ago.  Images below are showing his "hot-spots".  Breaks, cracks or lesions.  It's showing the bones attempting to regenerate.

The first image below is untouched:

On this image I circled his "hot-spots":

We think that all of these broken ribs are a result of the 10 radiation blasts on his C-3 Disc.  They caused his throat to close up.  THEN the coughing began.

His ribs were already weak from lesions, and the coughing snapped them.

They did an MRI on his right hip after consulting an Orthopedic Surgeon.  The guy wasn't concerned that this would cause Dom to fall, as the hot-spot isn't in the socket of his hip.

We're guessing that it's a new lesion.

This goes on and on and on!  My guy is a "Hurtin' Little Cowboy", I'm afraid!

Friday, May 24, 2019


BBQ Season is upon us!  We're really looking forward to breaking out these meat rubs this weekend.

We LOVE Pereg products!

Exotic Spice Blends Give An Irresistible Middle Eastern Accent To Chops, Ribs, Chicken, Fish, Even Veggies

Ras el Hanout

Clifton, NJ, MAY 21,  2019 – What is it about Middle Eastern cuisine that’s so flavorfully satisfying? From Turkish kabobs and Iraqui kibbeh to Israeli shawarma and Moroccan tagines, something magical happens when fresh ingredients and hearty seasonings meet over an open flame.

Enter the meat rub, the essential secret of every Middle Eastern pantry.

Closer to home, it’s well-known that a good rub is a grill chef’s best friend. Rubs seal in flavor, form a tasty crust, add color, and have a long shelf life. They’re also easy to use. No need for marinades because rubs do all the work. Best of all, they impart an addictive flavor to everything they touch.

But the term “meat rub” is a bit of a misnomer, say the spice experts at Pereg Natural Foods. Classic blends like ras el hanout and koobah partner as beautifully with fish and vegetables as they do with steaks and briskets.

In the Middle East, families hand down their secret spice blends from generation to generation. That’s why there are as many variations of rubs as there are households!

But you don’t have to be an heir to access the traditional ingredients and proportions behind these exotic mixtures. Pereg scours the world for fresh, natural, 100% pure spices, bringing more than 100 years of expertise and quality to the table.

Get to know some of these Middle Eastern-style secrets when the grill heats up.


Pereg’s Koobah starts with baharat, a ubiquitous Israeli and Mediterranean staple, and then adds warm layers of cinnamon, allspice, rose, nutmeg, and cardamom for a complex finish. It makes an excellent dry rub for grilled or roast lamb, salmon, and chicken. It’s also delicious when sprinkled into burgers, mixed with hummus, or tossed onto vegetables (particularly corn on the cob and eggplant) before roasting.


It wouldn’t be shish kabab without kabab seasoning. Douse cubes of chicken, beef, or lamb liberally with Pereg’s hearty mash-up (paprika, black pepper, coriander, garlic, and cumin) and thread on skewers with vegetables of your choice. Grill over medium heat until fully cooked. Serve on warm pita bread – also prepared on the grill – with tahini and a side of cucumber salad for an authentic version of Israeli street food.


Another food truck favorite, shawarma is easy to make with Pereg’s perfect mixture of cumin, coriander, allspice, garlic, paprika, turmeric, and salt. Simply rub Shawarma spice blend onto thin slices of chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey. Toss meat into a zipper top bag with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and red onion. Marinate overnight and grill. Serve on warm pita and plenty of garnishes: tahini, pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cilantro...

Ras el Hanout

Traditional recipes for this Moroccan seasoning call for up to100 ingredients!  You could make your own, or turn to Pereg’s intriguing blend of cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, allspice, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, and more. Ras el hanout brings aromatic warmth, a hint of sweetness, and complexity to anything from burgers to brisket. A key component of soups, stews, and tagines, it can also be used a table-top condiment. Sprinkle it on vegetable dishes or even over popcorn for a punch of flavor.

ABOUT PEREG - Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.

Today Pereg produces an array of all-natural products that includes ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereal and much more. Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the US and Canada, and on their website,

Pereg manufactures all its products from start to finish, controlling the quality from the sourcing until the product is packed and ready for the consumer. All Pereg products are kosher certified by both the Orthodox Union (OU) and CRC, are dairy and lactose-free as well as all natural, with no additives or preservatives. Many products are also certified gluten-free and non-GMO. Follow Pereg Natural Foods on, Twitter @pereggourmet and Instagram @peregnatural.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend is Upon us!

Man, the time has really flown!  I can't believe that it's almost June.

Dom continues to do well with his Darzalex infusions and we're extremely hopeful. 

We're going in for #4 on Thursday, then have NOTHING to do until Tuesday's blood work!


Looking forward to a long lazy weekend. We're looking at the mid-nineties all weekend!  These will cool us down- 

The good folks at Sparkling Ice sent me samples, and we're going to experiment with these recipes:

Peach Sangria

1 peach, sliced
½ orange, sliced
¾ cup peach brandy
1 bottle white wine, chilled
4 cups Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade

Place peaches, oranges, cranberries and brandy in a pitcher then lightly muddle. Add wine and Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with a peach slice.

Spiced Sparkling Sangria

1/2 Apple, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1/2 pear, sliced
Cinnamon Stick
1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup Brandy
1 cup Sparkling Ice Orange Mango

Cut fruit into equal sizes and place in pitcher with the cinnamon stick. Pour in the bottle of wine, bourbon, and Sparkling Ice Orange Mango over fruit. Gently stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours, up to 2 days. Serve cold over ice.

Sparkling Pimm's Punch

1 blood orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 cucumbers, sliced
1 lb whole strawberries
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
One 750-ml bottle Pimm's No. 1
1 cup gin
4 1/2 cups Sparkling Ice Strawberry Lemonade

In a large punch bowl, combine the blood oranges, lemons, cucumbers, strawberries, and half of the mint. Pour in the Pimm's, gin, and Sparkling Ice Strawberry Lemonade, stir until combined.
Fill glasses with ice and ladle in the punch, garnish with the remaining mint and serve.

Tropical Flower Punch

1 cup of coconut rum
1 cup of mango juice
2 cups of orange juice
¼ cup of grenadine
2 cups Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple
Edible flowers, for garnish

In a large punch bowl, combine the coconut rum, mango juice, grenadine, Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple and stir. Fill glasses with ice and ladle in the punch, garnish with edible flowers serve.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Dom's Progress with Darzalex

We went to the Slidell Cancer Center for Dom's 2nd Darzalex infusion on Thursday.

First, they gave him Tylenol and drips of Steroids, Pepsid and Benedryl.

Then they brought out the bag of Darzalex.  It broke open!  (Which contaminated it).  There was no more Darzalex in the building.  They would have had to drive an hour round-trip to get some, but it was already 11 am.  That would have kept us there very late.

So, they apologized and asked us to return on Friday morning. 

I'm happy to say that the Darzalex infusion was cut down to only 4 hours!  We were at the Cancer Center for a total of 6 hours!  We were tickled, as the week before was a 10 1/2 hour visit.  During the infusion, the pharmacist stopped by.  He checked his latest shipment of bags and found 4 or 5 defective bags.  His new policy is to check the bags before mixing up the medicine.

Once again, Dom had NO ADVERSE reactions!  We're extremely hopeful and feeling positive!

He's doing just great!

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Essential Oils Diet: Lose Weight and Transform Your Health with the Power of Essential Oils and Bioactive Foods

We've been on a health kick lately.  Moreso now after Dom's cancer returned.

I was so happy to receive this book from the publisher!

I hear more and more about Essential Oils and have been curious.  This book SOLD ME!

I also have a new "go-to" website!  This site is FULL of info.

Lose Weight and Transform Your Health With the Power of Bioactive Foods

The runaway success of The Healing Power of Essential Oils showed that there is a growing interest in using essential oils to heal the body. Now, in THE ESSENTIAL OILS DIET: Lose Weight and Transform Your Health with the Power of Essential Oils and Bioactive Foods, Dr. Eric Zielinski teams up with Sabrina Ann Zielinski (“Mama Z”) to teach readers how bioactive plant compounds--those found in essential oils and in foods like matcha green tea, chia seeds, almonds, and avocados--can aid in weight loss, boost energy levels, and trigger the body's natural immune defenses to fight chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and autoimmunity.

Essential Oils, effectively used, are as important to your everyday success in life as peace of mind and human connection.
                           – Dr. Eric Zielinski (Dr. Z)

The Essential Oils Diet

The Essential Oils Diet features a sensible, evidence-based, two-phase program—first, the 30-day essential fast track, which helps you banish excess pounds quickly, followed by the essential lifestyle, a gentle, practical maintenance program you can follow for life. Featuring delicious, easy recipes, meal plans, and strategies to keep you on track, you’ll learn how to harness essential oils and bioactive foods to help your body reach the homeostasis necessary to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and abundant health.

The book will arrive on bookstore shelves in the U.S. and abroad on May 7, 2019.

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
                           – World Health Organization

The author of the National Bestseller, The Healing Power of Essential Oils, Dr. Eric Zielinski has pioneered natural living and Biblical health education since 2003. Knowing what it’s like to be sick from a young age and having recovered from several chronic diseases in his early 20s, he has been on a mission to share the evidence-based approach to natural living that empowered him to regain control of his health with the world. Trained as an aromatherapist, public health researcher and chiropractor, Dr. Z is an accomplished researcher with several publications and conference proceedings.

Sabrina Ann Zielinski is a home birth mom of four and a natural health guru. The mastermind behind the allergy-friendly food recipes & DIY remedies featured on their website, she’s known as “Mama Z” to many mamas who are looking for natural ways to take care of their families. As a certified group fitness instructor, health coach and beauty pageant trainer Sabrina’s vast background in natural living has helped her empower thousands of women to reach their true potential in Christ.Dr. Z & Mama Z started their online ministry in 2014 with to help people learn how to use natural remedies, like essential oils, safely and effectively. Now, with more 6 million visitors every year, it has rapidly become the #1 source for Biblical Health and non-branded essential oils education online.

The Zs live in Atlanta with their four children.

I'm making this tomorrow!  We LOVE quinoa!

Reprinted from THE ESSENTIAL OILS DIET: Lose Weight and Transform Your Health with the
Power of Essential Oils and Bioactive Foods © 2019 by LLC. Published by Harmony,
an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Garden-Fresh Quinoa Salad

Prep:  20 minutes       Chill:  2 hours        Serves 6-8

*1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
*1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and
*1 large ripe tomato, sliced
*1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced
*1⁄2 cup sliced green onions, or
2 tablespoons dried onion
*2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
*1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
*2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or
mint leaves
*1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
*1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground white
*1 teaspoon freshly ground pink
Himalayan salt or sea salt
*2 drops lemon essential oil
*2 drops parsley essential oil
*Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Combine the quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, garlic, parsley, basil,olive oil,lemon juice,white pepper,Himalayan salt, and essential
oils in a large bowl, and gently mix. Garnish with mint leaves.

Chill 2 hours and serve.

Pre-Order Your Copy Here!

An Update on Our Patient

Hey, gang.  It's been rough, but we're finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

He went through 10 radiation treatments on his C-3 Vertebrae. As warned, his throat closed up.  He couldn't eat for a couple of days.  Meanwhile, he was coughing and cracked or broke a couple of ribs.

Poor Dom stayed in bed for 2 days.

He's feeling MUCH better, thank God!

Yesterday was his first Darzalex infusion.  Talk about a LONG DAY.  We were at the Cancer Center for over 10 hours.  Plus a couple of hours driving.  *whew!* 

I'm happy to say that his care team was delighted.  He had NO SIDE EFFECTS.   The next infusions will be quicker starting next Thursday.  

He's up and about today and feeling GREAT!

Thank you for your continued prayers and good wishes.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

An Exciting Development Where I Volunteer... The Crossroads Food Pantry

I volunteer at a local food pantry.  I really enjoy it.  It's very fulfilling to "give back".  And I work with a GREAT GANG of folks. 

We were tickled to receive a $5,000.00 check from Coast Electric!

ADDITIONAL FUNDS: Representatives of Coast Electric Power Association and Crossroads Food Pantry pose with a check presented to the pantry by the power company. The funds for the grant were collected from the power company’s members by rolling their bills up to the next dollar. Photo By Jeremy Pittari

CEPA donates to food pantry, others

Several donations have been made to local organizations by Coast Electric Power Association due to the company’s Operation Round Up program.

Thursday, representatives with CEPA went to the Crossroads Food Pantry on Highway 43 North to present the volunteers there with a check for $5,000. That money will be used by the organization to fund food donations to more than 60 households through February of 2020, said Sharon Bonnecarre, Crossroads Food Pantry director.

The pantry provides a box of food items, that range from canned, dried and frozen meats, to less fortunate families in Pearl River County through the help of about 20 rotating volunteers. Bonnecarre said that some of the volunteers also receive assistance from the Food Pantry. Some of the volunteers provide services such as lawn care, fresh eggs and one volunteer recently started a garden that will provide produce.

“It’s a really awesome ministry here,” Bonnecarre said.

CEPA Director of Communications April Lollar said that more than $71,000 was donated to various programs and charities in Pearl River County, Hancock County and Harrison County. In addition to the grant to Crossroads Food Pantry, donations were also made to Manna Ministries ($5,000) and the Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department ($8,000) within Pearl River County. Donations to the following organizations benefit all three counties; Teen Challenge ($5,000), United Service Organization ($8,000), Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi ($5,500), Whisper of Hope Foundation ($4,000) and Wild at Heart Rescue ($3,000).

Lollar said that through the Operation Round Up program, a member of the power company’s bill is rounded up to the next dollar, the proceeds of which are deposited into an account with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Sixty-five percent of the funds in that account are set aside for grants, 25 percent are used for energy assistance programs and the remaining 10 percent is put into an endowment that will be used to start future programs, Lollar said.

Charity or nonprofit organizations can then apply for grant funding via the power company’s website.

Lollar said another round of applications will be accepted starting in May. Organizations can apply each quarter when applications are accepted, but those that win will have to wait until the next calendar year to reapply.

“It’s good that people give a few cents monthly and have it go to programs that impact the local community. That’s a pretty good return on investment,” Lollar said.

Organizations that are interested in applying for the funding can attend an informational seminar on May 2, at 6 p.m. in the headquarters in Hancock County where representatives of the power company will answer questions. The Headquarters is located at 18020 Hwy. 603, Kiln.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Frankenbunny

The Frankenbunny

(This is actually quite cute, but if Monsanto designed it I'm quite sure it would be a highly venomous Easter killing machine that shoots out projectile eggs filled with Roundup and Agent Orange...)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

It's Worse Than we Thought.

Went to see the Radiologist today.  He's not concerned with the lesion on Dom's shoulder blade.  He showed us how the Myeloma is eating away at his vertebrae.

This is basically going on at the base of his neck:

Notice the bones missing on the right side (it should look like the other side)

So, they did another c/t scan and fit him for a mask in Radiation.

Doc is going to blast him 10 times in a row.

And THEN start Darzalex.

He said that after this treatment, we might consider going to a Neurosurgeon to have him put a plate in his neck.  But not now, as he'll be bedridden for a while and the MM will run rampant.

Radiation starts tomorrow.

Monday, April 8, 2019

And So it Continues. Dom Can't Catch a Break.

A few weeks ago, Dom had a full body CT Scan.  His shoulder has been KILLING him.

Multiple Myeloma can cause soft spots in the bone called osteolytic lesions, which appear as holes on an X-ray. These osteolytic lesions are painful and can increase the risk of painful breaks or fractures. Myeloma can also cause nerve damage or pain when a tumor presses up against a nerve.

Sure enough, they found a lesion on his left shoulder blade. 

Our team at the Slidell Cancer Center got the ball rolling quickly.  It all starts tomorrow with an appointment with Handsome Dr. M. who is our Oncologist Radiologist. 

He'll probably make a mold of Dom's shoulder blade and get started quickly.

Then Thursday, starting DARZALEX which isn't Chemotherapy, but rather a TARGETED Therapy that seeks out and destroys Myeloma cells.  We have to be at the Cancer Center for 7am *groaning*, and they expect it will be an 8-hour infusion.


So, rolling right along, gang.  We're happy to get this crap started!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A St. Patrick's Day Prayer

Blessed St. Patrick's Day!
From 'St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer':

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Char-Broil Grilling for the Family: 300 Delicious Recipes to Satisfy Every Member of the Family

The publisher, Fox Chapel, was kind enough to send me this cookbook.  It's a BIG 344 page heavy paperback with full-color photos on every page.

And just in time for grilling season!

Char-Broil Grilling for the Family: 300 Delicious Recipes to Satisfy Every Member of the Family (Creative Homeowner) Easy-to-Follow Recipes, Backyard-Tested Techniques, and Tips to Get Kids Involved
Get everybody outside for a fun family grilling fiesta!

*300 easy-to-follow recipes for lip-smacking appetizers, meat, veggies and more to have epic family cookouts

*47 recipes for The Big Easy(R) Oil-Less Turkey Fryer in an included bonus section, for extra juicy meat and crispy skin

*Backyard-tested grilling, barbecuing, brining, and smoking techniques

*Favorite techniques for the juiciest steaks, roasts, ribs, chops, wings, shrimp, kabobs, and more

*Tips on getting kids involved with simple, safe child-friendly tasks that they can do to help

Packed with recipes from America's favorite grill brand since 1948, Char-Broil(R) Grilling for the Family is the definitive cookbook and how-to guide for memorable outdoor meals.

Use this big book to prepare delicious grilled and barbecued appetizers, snacks, breakfast, main courses, salads, vegetables, sides—even desserts! You'll discover 300 mouth-watering recipes here for perfect hamburgers, drumsticks, kebabs, chops, fajitas, wings, sliders, deep-fried turkey, fish, pork, venison, and more—all with easy step-by-step instructions and color photos. Recipes for marinades, sauces, and rubs are included to give your meals that extra kick of flavor.

A special bonus section dedicated to cooking with The Big Easy(R) includes 47 recipes using your Oil-Less Turkey Fryer for chicken, prime rib, ham, shrimp, roasts, and—of course—turkey! An introductory FAQ to using and maintaining The Big Easy(R) is also included (but be sure to read the Product Guide that arrived with your fryer).

Breakfasts, vegetarian choices, healthy options that don't skimp on taste, recipes for new and interesting proteins like ostrich and bison alongside long-time favorites like seafood and beef—it's all here. We even made sure to include kid-friendly grilling choices that are appetizing to youthful tastes, so your next grilling day will be one that the whole tribe will enjoy!

You can pre-order this beauty here:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019



Clifton, NJ, JAN 30, 2019 – Foodie pop quiz: What spice has one unusual name, is spelled at least five different ways, can be either savory or sweet but never both, and could hold healthful powers? The answer is HAWAIJ.

Hawaij – pronounced ha-WHY-idge – is an ancient spice mixture found in every Yemenite’s household, and you’ll probably be hearing more about it before too long. That’s because people are discovering delicious ways to incorporate this exotic blend into everything from coffee and desserts to stews and condiments.

There are actually two distinct varieties of hawaij, each with its own flavor profile. One is traditionally used in coffees and the other is usually used to season soups. Yemeni immigrants brought these blends to Israel, and today hawaij (alternately spelled hawaj, hawaij, hawayji, or hawayej) is a staple of Israeli cuisine.

 Pereg Natural Foods (, a leading producer of premium, all-natural spices and spice blends, invites home cooks to explore hawaij and imagine how it can transform everyday menu items into something new and extraordinary.

Pereg Hawaij Blend for Soup is an aromatic mixture of cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, and cloves.

*Use it instead of bouillon cubes or consommé powder to season meat-based or vegetable soups.
*Try it as a rub for lamb, grilled chicken or fish.
*Add a healthy pinch to slow-cooker stews.
*Toss it with some olive oil on vegetables to roast – it’s great with potatoes, broccoli, kale, carrots, or beets.
*Mix it with a fruity olive oil for a quick salad dressing or as a delicate dipping sauce for crusty bread.
*Spice up chicken with a coat of Hawaij and Pereg Fine Panko Japanese-style bread.

Pereg Hawaij Blend for Coffee is a homey mixture of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

*Add a warm and earthy layer of depth to any coffee, tea, or even hot cocoa.
*Boost up your batter – replace traditional spices with hawaij in your favorite pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads, cakes, and other baked desserts.
*Turn an ordinary smoothie into an intriguing treat.
*Sprinkle on baked apples or poached pears.
*Infuse into rice pudding.

Healthy Hawaij – Hawaij’s components pack a powerhouse of healthful properties. WebMD and a multitude of other experts cite cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and turmeric as outstanding sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients. 

So when you boost the flavor of your favorite dish with hawaij, you might also be fighting inflammation, aiding digestion, lowering blood sugar, fending off free radicals, and perhaps even preventing cancer and Alzheimer’s!


Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Latest on Dom

These were Dom's latest numbers 2/27 at Tulane.   The second set is from Slidell Cancer Center on 2/7.  The numbers in parentheses are from November 2018.

WBC:  7.3   6.5  (8.3 three months ago)

RBC:   4.1   3.9   (3.71)

HTC:    38.7    39.4  (36.3)

PLATELETS:   170   154  (188)

KAPPA Light Chains:   10,5   11.4  (16.5)

LAMBDA Light Chains:   176.5   119.9  (36.4)

RATIO:   0.6    0.10  (0.45)

M-Spike:    1.7   1.3  (Not Observed)

Dr. Safah at the Tulane Cancer Center in NOLA saw us last Wednesday.  She took blood.  Had us follow up today with our Slidell Oncologist.

He's ordering a full body CT Scan with no contrast and a bone marrow biopsy.  Hopefully next week.

Dom is a hurtin' little cowboy.  Ribs, back, shoulder, neck.  You name it.

So... after the CT results come in, they've decided to put Dom on DARZALEX.  It's not chemo.  It's an IMMUNOTHERAPY.

I joined a Facebook Group for Darzalex support, and the members have been SUPER helpful.  Most of them rave about the drug! 

So, we're feeling very positive.

The docs are laying the groundwork for insurance, then full-speed-ahead. 

Thanks for the continued prayers and good vibes, gang.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Dom's Feb. Numbers

These were Dom's latest numbers.  The numbers in parentheses are from November 2018.

WBC:  6.5  (8.3 three months ago)

RBC:   3.9   (3.71)

HTC:    39.4  (36.3)

PLATELETS:   154  (188)

KAPPA Light Chains:   11.4  (16.5)

LAMBDA Light Chains:   119.9  (36.4)

RATIO:  0.10  (0.45)

M-Spike:  1.3  (Not Observed)

The M-Spike concerned us, but Dr. Calabreze wasn't concerned, as his Light Chains look so good.

He did ask us to make an appointment with Dr. Safah at the Tulane Cancer Center to get her feedback.  She can't get us in until late March.

Soooooo...  rolling right along here.  *sighing*

Friday, February 8, 2019

PETA’s “Kill Mill” Slaughtered Nearly 2,000 Cats and Dogs in 2018

PETA Killed 50 Times More Cats and Dogs Than it Adopted Out

WASHINGTON, DC (February 7, 2019) — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has once again proved its name rings hollow. New figures from the animal “shelter” at PETA’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia show that of the 2,470 cats and dogs the group received in 2018, 1,771 of them were killed. PETA was single-handedly responsible for two-thirds of the cats and dogs killed by private animal shelters in Virginia.

Just 35 cats and dogs were adopted out. PETA’s adoption rate of barely 1% is shockingly low in comparison to the rest of Virginia, where the adoption rate at private shelters is 71% and at public shelters is 33%. PETA’s kill rate of 73% also greatly exceeds the average for Virginia shelters. 

The figures come from animal custody records filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees animal shelters. 

Will Coggin, managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, commented: 

“The only thing PETA does better than kill pets is get attention for itself. No animal lover should support an organization that so callously disregards and discards four-legged friends. Do celebrity supporters of PETA like Tom Hardy and Casey Affleck condone this mass slaughter of pets?”

PETA had over $56 million in revenue in 2018, yet apparently would rather spend money on videos that feature vegetable genitalia than save pets. PETA has killed about 40,000 cats and dogs since 1998. PETA has killed perfectly healthy animals, including a Chihuahua that PETA representatives stole from a Virginia family and killed in 2014.

The figures come from official numbers published by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Super Bowl Sunday Fun Day

Joe and Carina drove in from Pensacola for the night.  I cooked an 18# Country Ham from a pal in Kentucky.  I also made Siracha Deviled Eggs, Loaded Potato Salad, Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly.  Made my first attempt at Tiramisu.  It was delicious!  

Joe brought over some Cleveland Mustard and a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps.

Sadie was in HEAVEN with all of the attention that she received!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cold Weather Tips For Peripheral Neuropathy

A few years ago, I lived with the hope that my chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) would disappear over time. Since I'd had Taxol every week for six months, the CIPN side effect was not unexpected. The availability of cold socks/gloves/caps at that time was much less than it is now, and I only learned about those options after that treatment had ended. Still, those techniques are no guarantee CIPN won't set in and stick around.

Although I knew I was developing the condition and was careful to inform both my doctor and the nurses about how the tingling was developing, I am sure I downplayed the seriousness of the situation because the last thing I wanted was to end treatment before our previously agreed upon date.

So, now I live with CIPN and while I have had prescriptions for gabapentin issued, I have resisted this choice for personal reasons including the idea that it is more effective for painful neuropathy than the type I experience, which is numbness and tingling. It's hard living with CIPN that seems to be progressing overall, but that sometimes ebbs with factors I haven't been super successful at duplicating when I need them.

Cold weather, which can extend from November through March where I live, is especially brutal for those living with this side effect. Bottomline, commonsense steps can help maintain comfort during cold weather. I can't claim to have found the solution for CIPN for anyone else – or even myself – but I do know some good tips for cold-weather management:

Move. Although movement is not a cure for CIPN, it does help relieve stiff and numb hands and feet. I remember sitting in a cold truck with my brother-in-law, who had severe neuropathy, and watching him clench and unclench his hands. This movement can provide immediate help by warming hands (and toes, clench those as well) by getting circulation moving when it is not possible to take other steps. Full-body exercise also works to improve overall circulation, so include that as well if you are able.

Keep feet dry. One of the problems with CIPN is that it's hard to know what your fingers and feet are actually feeling. There have been times when I've kept on shoes after being outside only to find, after I finally notice that my feet are more uncomfortable than usual, that my socks are damp. I've learned to remove my shoes as soon as I come inside, even if my feet feel OK, and switch to a new pair of socks after checking to make sure my feet are not damp. It's a commonsense move that is easy to forget.

Gloves and socks. Even the warmest coverings aren't going to stop my CIPN from acting up in cold weather, but it is much worse if I decide to go without gloves, for instance, because that's what I could do before cancer. Just put on the warm gloves and socks (and keep them dry).

Wear a warm coat. If you have CIPN, you might have noticed that if you become cold by underdressing for the weather, the degree of pain or numbness in your peripheral areas becomes worse. That happens because circulation isn't being maintained and it can become more difficult to move your fingers (or toes). For CIPN in hands, it's particularly helpful to make sure even your forearms remain warm.

Walk safe. I've fallen enough times, both in cold weather and warm, to want to stay upright. Leave the heels or slippery flats at home or in your purse to switch into once inside. Instead, wear shoes or boots with traction that might help prevent you from sliding into a fall and keep hands out of pockets (wear gloves or mittens!), which not only gives you a chance to catch yourself if you start to fall, but can also help to prevent fingers from cramping or "freezing" into a bent position.

Use caution outdoors. While I used to love to sled for hours with my son, I know that cold can slow circulation to hands and feet, aggravate CIPN, and may cause additional nerve damage. I'm not going to give up the things that I enjoy, but I will do what I can to prevent further nerve damage. So, I try to keep an extra pair of socks and gloves with me when I go out to minimize the chance that I'll be in damp or cold clothing for too long and I take breaks indoors or in a warm car.

Pamper yourself. I've found that while it can sometimes hurt to have my feet touched, gently massaging lotion onto them (and my hands) does wonders. It increases circulation, gives me a chance to notice if I've hurt my feet anywhere, and also puts my hands to work. These moments of indulgence matter and are good for movement and warmth.


Thursday, January 17, 2019


Hi, gang-  I was delighted to get a package full of products from TUSCANINI!  As you can imagine, being married to an Italian, this stuff is right up my alley.

And it's GREAT!  These will be staples in my kitchen.  My Dominic loved these, as did I!

From the Rolling Hills of Your Table, Say “Ciao!” to the Taste of Italy With These Premium Favorites:

Gourmet Balsamic Vinegar and Vinegar Glaze
Premium Pastas
Authentic Italian Tomato Sauces and Tomato Paste
Cold-Pressed Sparkling Beverages and Mineral Water
Versatile Apple Cider Vinegar

Bayonne, NJ, JANUARY 8, 2018 – From the rolling hills of Italy, Tuscanini Foods is rolling out a new lineup of gourmet food products that bring the taste of Italy to your table for a truly authentic Italian dining experience.

This superior brand of foods is imported from Italy, famously identified for its traditions and age-old recipes. From the mountainous Dolomite region to the idyllic Sardinia Island, products are sourced from artisans that specialize in offering only the best quality ingredients.

The host of products from Tuscanini - from naturally sparkling cold pressed beverages to bronze cut Italian pasta - allow consumers to cook-up original homemade Italian favorites and provide delicious gourmet options for year-round cooking.

Distributed by NJ-based Kayco (, a leader in specialty food products, Tuscanini ( products meet the highest standards of quality, craftsmanship and gourmet cuisine.  All products are produced with natural ingredients, nothing artificial and are certified OU kosher.

The following authentic Italian imports are coming to grocery shelves in 2019:

Balsamic Vinegar  (MRP $7.99 / 8.45 oz.)

This Balsamic Vinegar offers of ultimate Italian experience with its complex flavor and beautiful glass bottle and cork closure.

Balsamic Vinegar Glaze (MRP $7.99 / 8.5 oz.)

Rich and complex, these condiments hail from Modena, Italy, one of only two places in the world where true balsamic vinegar is produced under PDO classification. Tuscanini’s gourmet balsamic products are meticulously prepared from locally grown grapes and aged in traditional wood casks. Balanced with 6% acidity, they are superior for serious home cooks and restaurants.

Italian Pastas (MRP $3.99 / 16 oz.)

Dried pasta has been the mainstay of Italian cuisine for centuries. These 100% Durum Semolina pastas are bronze cut to create a porous, home-style texture that showcases the sauce in every bite. The high-end collection includes a variety of shapes: Gigli (ruffle-edged cones), Pennoni (a somewhat more substantial version of Penne), Trottole (“spinning top”), tricolor Conchiglie (seashells), and tricolor Fusilli (corkscrews).

Pasta Sauces (MRP $4.99 / 24.3 oz. jars)

These four authentic toppings evoke warm, sun-kissed Italian summers. Every jar of Tuscanini pasta sauce features 40 fresh tomatoes from the Parma region, harvested at the peak of ripeness. Traditional Pizza Sauce, Naopoletana Pasta Sauce, Classic Marinara Sauce, and Zesty Marinara Sauce pair perfectly with Tuscanini’s home-style Italian Pastas.

Tomato Paste (MRP $1.99 / 7.05 oz.)

Ripe, luscious tomatoes grown under the Tuscan sun are triple-concentrated for an intense burst of fresh flavor. Convenient, re-sealable tube lets you use only what you need with no waste. All-natural and non-GMO project certified.

Organic Sparkling Beverages (MRP $6.99 / 4-pack of 9.3 oz. bottles)

Tuscanini introduces two elegant new sparkling soft drinks inspired by leisurely Italian afternoons at an outdoor café. Made with only the choicest fruits hand-picked at peak harvest, these crisp Italian sodas are cold-pressed for maximum natural flavor. Available in Lemon and Blood Orange. Enjoy these all-natural refreshers straight from the bottle or over ice. USDA Organic certified.

Apple Cider Vinegar (MRP $5.99 / 16.9 oz.)

From the picturesque mountain region of Dolomite comes an unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar brewed with “the mother culture” – a beneficial mix of proteins, acids, and bacteria prized for their healthy properties. This ancient condiment has become extremely popular with consumers and chefs alike. Made with only organic Italian apples, it delivers a great, well-balanced acidity in glazes, dressings, marinades, and more.



Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Contest: Vote for Dumbest PETA Campaign Launches “Dumbest PETA Campaign” Contest

Winner will receive a 12-month subscription to meat delivery service Butcher Box

What’s worse: Trivializing the Holocaust, or making light of sexual violence? Those are just two examples from years of obnoxious media stunts by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Today, launched A CONTEST  in which people can vote for what they think is PETA’s dumbest campaign ever. Voters are automatically entered for a chance to win a 12-month subscription to Butcher Box, a monthly meat delivery service.

There are ten campaigns to choose from in the contest going back decades. PETA’s campaigns include tasteless Holocaust comparisons, attempting to rebrand fish as “sea kittens,” and PETA’s recent headline-grabbing criticism of common idioms.

Will Coggin, managing director of, commented: “Over the years, PETA has come up with a lot of dumb campaigns that beg for press attention but don’t even do anything to help animals. That shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows PETA has killed over 40,000 animals at its headquarters. 

This contest is a fun way to showcase some of PETA’s worst campaigns.

The winner, as they say, will be bringing home the bacon.”
I thought that this was cute, gang!  Here's a link to the contest:

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

10 Things You Need To Know About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a treatable but incurable blood cancer that typically occurs in the bone marrow. It is a relatively uncommon cancer, affecting approximately 30,000 new people each year. 1 Difficult to diagnose until it is in the advanced stages, it is mainly treated with chemotherapy and stem cell therapies. But the survival rate is increasing, especially as advances in treatment are being discovered. Here are the ten things you need to know about the disease.

Please note: nothing can replace the care of your clinician or doctor. Please do not make changes to your treatment or schedules without first consulting your healthcare providers. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat illness.

1. What is multiple myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that typically occurs within a bone due to the presence of malignant plasma cells. Under normal circumstances, plasma cells develop from B cells—a type of cell that the immune system uses to fight disease or infection. When B cells react to an infection or disease, they change into plasma cells, which are responsible for creating antibodies to help fight germs. These plasma cells are found mainly in bone marrow.

Sometimes, after plasma cells develop, they can begin to grow out of control and create a tumour called a plasmacytoma. These tumours generally develop within a bone but can occasionally be found in other body tissues. When a person develops more than one of these tumours, they have multiple myeloma.

2. Risk factors and causes
Unlike many other cancers, there are very few known risk factors associated with getting multiple myeloma. These factors are listed below.

Age: The majority of diagnoses are in people who are more than 45 years old (96 percent), and more than 63 percent of diagnoses are in people older than 65. Less than one percent of cases are in people younger than 35.2
Race: For reasons unknown, it is more than twice as common in African-Americans than in white Americans.
Gender: Men are at a slightly higher risk than women.
Family history: A person with a parent or sibling who has the disease is four times more likely to get the disease, too.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases the risk.
Having other plasma cell diseases: A person with solitary plasmacytoma (a single tumour), or someone diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, which is a plasma cell disorder that does not normally cause problems, is more likely to later develop multiple myeloma.
Radiation: People exposed to are at a higher risk.
Workers exposed to ionizing radiation have been shown to have an increased risk of the disease as well, according to a study conducted at US Department of Energy facilities.
Workplace exposure: Some studies have shown that workers in occupations such as agriculture, leather, petroleum and cosmetology, and workers exposed to chemicals such as asbestos, benzene, and pesticides are at an increased risk.
Researchers do not have a clear understanding of what causes multiple myeloma, though they have made progress into better understanding how specific DNA changes can cause plasma cells to mutate. Studies show that abnormalities in genes called oncogenes, which promote cell division, develop early in the growth of plasma cell tumours. Studies also show that myeloma cells have abnormalities in their chromosomes; specifically, research has revealed that pieces of chromosome 13 are missing.

Research also shows that in approximately half of people diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a translocation has occurred. This is when “a part of one chromosome has switched with a part of another chromosome in the myeloma cell.” 4 Scientists have also discovered that people with plasma cell tumours have abnormalities in other bone marrow cells, which might cause too much plasma cell growth.

3. Symptoms
The early stages of multiple myeloma may not have any symptoms, and even when symptoms are present, they may be similar to those that occur with other conditions. Below are some of the common symptoms of the disease:

*Bone pain and/or bone fractures
*Increased thirst
*Increased/decreased urination
*Increased risk of infections
*Loss of appetite/weight loss
*Restlessness that is later followed by significant fatigue and weakness

*Problems with kidney function

4. Positive results from targeted therapies
There are many drugs available to treat multiple myeloma, with chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplants (when stem cells are collected from the patient) the most common, but several of the most recent and exciting treatments to become available are two medications called daratumumab and ixazomib, and a form of treatment known as immunotherapy.

Darzalex (Daratumumab): In November 2015, the FDA granted “accelerated approval” for daratumumab injections in the treatment of multiple myeloma. The drug may only be used by individuals who have already undergone at least three other types of therapy.

Darzalex is part of a category of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. It works by binding to a protein called CD38, which is typically found on the surface of myeloma cells. Once it is attached to the cell, the drug attacks the cell while simultaneously signaling to the immune system to fight against the cells.

Almost one-third of clinical trial participants (with a median of five previous therapies) responded positively to the drug. Daratumumab can be purchased via our products page.

Ixazomib: Recently approved by the FDA, this completely oral treatment is used in combination with standard myeloma drugs to treat people who have already undergone at least one previous therapy. Clinical study results showed that the drug taken in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone increased “progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.” You find more information about Ixazomib on our products overview.5

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is when a person’s immune system is used to treat an infection or disease. In a recent study, scientists discovered that 70 percent of people with multiple myeloma who were treated with immunotherapy had a “significant clinical response” to the disease. 6 In the study, 14 of the 20 participants with an advanced form of multiple myeloma had a “near-complete or complete response three months after treatment; median progression-free survival was 91.1 months, while the overall survival lasted 32.1 months.” 7 Further, no significant side effects were reported. This is an important advance, given that current treatments such as chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplants have low long-term responses and an average survival rate between three and five years. 8 *Update January 2018 – Empliciti (elotuzumab), is a type of immunotherapy that was approved in the US, Europe, and Australia, but has still not been approved in many other parts of the world and is therefore not directly available there. For more information head to our medicines overview page.

Despite advancements in the treatment of multiple myeloma, not all medicines are available in the same countries at the same time. This can be due to delays in initial approval by one regulatory body and approvals within a certain country — if the manufacturer has filed for approval in that country. There is no global, harmonised approval system and it’s up to manufacturers to decide where to go to market first (also known as applying for market authorisation). Regulatory bodies also differ in speed, which can cause delays.

Almost any country in the world allows individuals to import elsewhere approved medicines for personal use, which may give multiple myeloma patients access to new-to-market medicines. If you are seeking a medicine not yet available in your country, head to our home page to find out how our team can help.

5. Tom Brokaw is living with the disease and has written a book about it
NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in August 2013 following a bout of severe back pain. Though he originally wanted to keep the diagnosis private, he eventually announced his fight against the disease. His memoir, A Lucky Life Interrupted, was published last year and details his journey following his diagnosis. In it, Brokaw discusses the challenges he faced from the disease: weight loss, the inability to sometimes walk without help, the side effects from his medications, and the moment when he learned that the disease was affecting 60 percent of his blood. After 16 months of treatment, his cancer went into remission.

6. How it’s diagnosed
Several different diagnostic tests must be used to confirm a multiple myeloma diagnosis because it is challenging to diagnose based on a single laboratory result. A physical evaluation will be done alongside a review of the individual’s history, symptoms, blood and urine tests, and a bone marrow biopsy. Other tests might include an MRI, CT scan, PET scan and X-rays.

In order to definitively diagnose multiple myeloma, a person must meet at least one major and one minor or three minor criteria. Those criteria are:

Major criteria:

*Plasmacytoma (based on a biopsy)
*The existence of 30 percent plasma cells in a bone marrow sample
*Increased levels of M protein in either blood or urine

Minor criteria:

*10 percent to 30 percent plasma cells in a bone marrow sample
*Osteolytic lesions
*A minor elevation in M protein levels in blood or urine
*Low levels of antibodies (that are not produced by cancer cells) in the blood.

7. Stages and classifications
The criteria as discussed above helps doctors determine not only whether a person has the disease, but also under which classification the disease falls.

Those classifications are:

*Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
*Asymptomatic myeloma, which is then divided into two subcategories:

*Smoldering myeloma
*Indolent myeloma
*Symptomatic myeloma

Once the classification is known, a doctor will then determine which stage of the disease exists, which will help establish the prognosis and treatment options.

The most common way to diagnose the stage of the disease is through the International Staging System (ISS), which is based on two different blood test results: the beta 2-microglobulin (β2-M) and the albumin. There are three stages of classification under the ISS:

Stage I: β2-M less than 3.5 mg/L and albumin greater than or equal to 3.5 gm/dL
Stage II: Either β2-M greater than 3.5 mg/L but not greater than 5.5 mg/dL and/or albumin less than 3.5 g/dL
Stage III: β2-M greater than 5.5 mg/L
The Durie-Salmon Staging System is an older system of diagnosis. This uses four measurements to determine which stage of the disease exists: 1) the amount of hemoglobin in the blood; 2) the amount of calcium in the blood; 3) the production rate of M protein; and 4) the number of bone lesions. The disease’s stage is then further subdivided based on kidney function.

The three stages of the disease as determined by the Durie-Salmon Staging System are: Stages I, II and III. Each of these stages is then subdivided into either Stage A or Stage B based on whether kidney function is affected. (Stage B means there is significant kidney damage.)

Stage I: Though a person with Stage I often shows no symptoms of the disease because there are fewer cancer cells present in the body, other signs will be present, such as: amount of red blood cells within or a little below the normal range, a normal amount of calcium in the blood, low levels of M protein in the urine or blood.
Stage II: More cancer cells are present in the body than in Stage I. An individual who does not fit into either Stage I or Stage III is said to have Stage II.
Stage III: There are many cancer cells present. Other characteristics of this stage include; hypercalcemia, high levels of M protein, anemia, and significant bone damage.
Note: In any stage, if kidney function is affected, the prognosis will be worse.

8. It’s treatable, not curable

The most common multiple myeloma treatment has typically been chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplants. Because the disease is not curable, this method of treatment aimed to create longer and longer stretches of time during which it did not progress. Now, however, significant advances in research have dramatically changed not only the prognosis but the treatment that is offered. In fact, treatments have advanced so much that there is an increasing discussion among the scientific community as to whether a stem cell transplant should be done after diagnosis or if it is better to wait until a relapse.

Scientists are currently experimenting with different combinations of medications to increase the survival rate. For example, efforts are being made to combine certain drugs that not only have diminished side effects but that also “lengthen stretches of progression-free survival (PFS). 9 Other drugs are being studied to see how they can work with the body’s immune system to fight the disease.

“It’s a massive convergence of our understanding of biology, the technology becoming available to understand myeloma cells and how they respond, the genetic subtypes of myeloma, the ability to engage both the patient community and researcher, to transfer data and information,” says Walter Capone, president and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, in an article with Cure. 10

9. There’s an international support network
The International Myeloma Foundation—while not an official sponsor of the more than 150 multiple myeloma support groups around the world—conducts yearly conferences for support group leaders. Information on support groups according to an individual’s geographical location can be found on the IMF website.

10. The survival rate continues to increase
According to Cancer Research UK (which used data from 2010-2011), 78 percent of men diagnosed with the disease survive for at least one year and 50 percent survive for five years or longer. For women, that number is 75 percent for one year and 44 percent for at least five years or longer. 11

In the United States, researchers reported that a “newly diagnosed myeloma patient 15 years ago, for example, was about one-third as likely as someone without myeloma to live another five years.” 12 Those same researchers found that “By the end of the 2000s, in contrast, that same myeloma patient would be 45 percent as likely as someone without myeloma to live another five years.” 13 According to the American Cancer Society, the median survival rate for Stage I is 62 months; Stage II: 44 months; and Stage III, 29 months. 14

With advances in treatment, as well as ongoing clinical studies, those prognoses continue to increase. In fact, the prognosis today of someone diagnosed with the disease is nearly triple what it once was. 15

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Saying Goodbye to 2018- It Was a Rough Year! (And a Big Scare Already This Year)

The past two years have been pretty rough here.  We were delighted to say goodbye to 2018!

Burning our Yule Log this year was very satisfying!

We had a real scare yesterday, but it was a false alarm.  Dom's ribs have been KILLING him.

Our Oncologist ordered a chest x-ray last week to rule out Bronchitis or Pleurisy.

It didn't show anything, so he sent us for a Bone Scan yesterday.  When we returned home, there was a message on our machine.  "Come in to talk to Dr. C. tomorrow morning.  The Bone Scan was ABNORMAL".

We called our "go-to" guy.  He said that Dr. C. wanted to discuss the bone scan with us.  There were multiple lesions on his ribcage. 

That flew us into a tizzy.  Dom decided that he wasn't going to get anymore Chemo.  We thought that maybe these were Plasmacytomas that could get blasted with radiation like with his hip.

We drove into Slidell all gloom and doom this morning, thinking that this was going to be yet another horrid year.

SURPRISE!  All is well with our world!

Our Oncologist told us that these were very small lesions, and Dom has always had various lesions.  (This was NEWS to us-  we were only aware of the large one on his left hip in May of 2017 ).  He wasn't concerned, as his blood and urine were clean 2 months ago.

He didn't think that our Radiologist would want to do anything but was going to have the guy compare this bone scan with his most recent MRI just to be sure.

So...  we are now back to normal!  M-Spike and Light Chain tests on Valentines Day.

Dom also told him that he didn't want anymore Chemo or Zometa.

Doc's going to order a follow-up Bone Scan in 6 months to keep an eye on things.

Here's hoping that 2019 will be a VERY GOOD YEAR!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Holidays Were Very Pleasant- Just the 2 of Us

Happy New Year, gang!

Our Christmas and New Year celebrations were very low-key and quiet.  Extremely pleasant.

Christmas Eve found us eating a nice antipasto salad and French bread pizzas.

Christmas Dinner was out of this world.  I roasted a 6# Duck and served it with potato pancakes, red cabbage with brown sugar/vinegar, and a wild rice/mushroom/cranberry pilaf.  It was all yummy!  (Very German)

New Years Eve was spent watching the Twilight Zone Marathon...  a tradition for us.

Pigged out on Muffalettas!
Did our annual Pork and Sauerkraut on New Years Day.  (Along with roasted pig tails, country ribs, mashed potatoes, baked apples, and Angel Hair Pasta in the pork drippings.)  OINK OINK!


On the 23rd, I got a phone call from the American Legion saying that they had a "gift" for us and wanted to make certain that we'd be home.

I told him that we live behind a locked-gate 8/10 of a mile back in the woods and he could just leave the "gift" behind the gate.  I thought that it was a scam and wasn't very pleasant.  I hung up the phone.

2 hours later the same fellow called.  "I hate to bother you again, Mrs. Manzo, but can you come down to your gate to get this??  I'd hate to leave a turkey and a ham out here.  I'm afraid that the local critters will snatch it!"

(Not only did they give us the turkey and ham, but a storage container packed full with a pumpkin pie, fresh fruit and all sorts of dried and canned goods

He went on to say that Sharon at the local food pantry had given them Dom's name as a Vietnam Veteran!

I felt horrible.  I apologized to the guy and he understood completely. 

I volunteer at the local food pantry.  The American Legion and the VFW had contacted the coordinator for names of veterans.  Didn't she give them Dom's name with our address and phone number!!!!


The Veterans organizations story in the local paper:

Christmas baskets for local veterans
DONATION: Gilbert Pfisterer, center, received one of the food baskets delivered by two local organizations who support veterans. The donations were made possible by a number of organizations and businesses.

Veterans in Pearl River County received a gift of food for the holidays due to the efforts of local organizations.

Members of the Sons of the American Legion, McSween-Johnston Post 73, Picayune, Miss., worked with the James L. Burge Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3804, to distribute more than 100 food baskets for Christmas to local veterans and other Pearl River County residents, according to the release.

The annual Christmas Basket Food Drive included contributions from Sons of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Froogle’s Cost Plus Foods in Bay St. Louis, Paul’s Pastry and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The baskets included a 12-pound turkey, an 8-pound ham, several side dishes and a pumpkin pie from Paul’s Pastry.

“The annual drive exemplifies the spirit of the season, while allowing these veterans’ organizations to further their mission of service to our community, state, and nation,” the release states.

Dominic and I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and hope that your holidays were GREAT!