Monday, March 30, 2009


We just had one of the most pleasant surprises that I can think of!   The phone rang to say that flowers were being delivered to "Nanette".

Dom met the guy at the gate.  Pictured, you'll see the flowers, chocolate and a cute little Teddy Bear with a sling on his arm.... "get well soon".  (which, of course, leads me to believe that they're for Dominic.


I've got a bit of a hunch who it's from, but would love to me if you don't want to post here.

Heading to Tulane Cancer Center on Thursday........ guessing that they'll do a bone marrow biopsy to confirm that Myeloma Cells have been destroyed.  Will keep you guys up to date.

Again........... THANKS FOR THE LOVELY PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!

Government Bail-Out Humor

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dom's Feeling Good- just a little tired

Happy Saturday, Gang!

All is well here.  Had a very mellow week.

Cousin Joe drove in from Pensacola on Tuesday.  I fussed over him, making my famous Chicken Cacciatore.  Played some cards, listened to music... had a nice time.  Dom made us one of his great breakfasts the next morning.

The rest of the week consisted of running errands.  Boring.

Today, we're boxing stuff up to move into the game room.  (In anticipation of sanitizing the house months from now).  I must have pulled twenty pairs of shoes/slippers out from underneath the bed.  Twenty-plus years of JUNK.  Yikes.

Hope everybody has a GREAT weekend.  We love you guys!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things are great here.

Hi gang-

All is well with our world.

Cut the lawn for the first time of the season on Saturday. Looks good.

Put a couple hundred miles on the vette yesterday. 80 degrees and sunny. Lovely day. Especially enjoyed the Mandeville lakefront. Went to a neat place for a beer-

Nice open air deck overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. I decided that I could definitely live there. Too bad they're all multi-millionaires. *grinning*

Dom's cousin Joe is coming over for the night tomorrow. Really looking forward to his visit. Making him my famous Chicken Cacciatore.

Got a phone call a few minutes ago from Amy, the Stem Cell Transplant coordinator. She needed some insurance info. Apparently, the wheels are in motion. Yippee!

Dunno if I posted this or not, but we think that we found "THE PLACE" in Metairie. The Gatehouse apartments. Great location. Secure. Multiple swimming pools. Free shuttle for mall, groceries and New Orleans.

So.... all is well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Health Scare........

Our day started wonderfully. Got to the Hard Rock Casino
at about 10:30 and hung out at the pool for about 4 hours. Beautiful
day.... High 70's and sunny. Water was cold, but it didn't matter.

We all got VERY sunburned.

Checked into our room.... fabulous. This is the only place that I'll
want to stay in the future. Great huge shower, 45 inch plasma tv,
nice view of the Gulf.

The 3 of us went down to the casino and played 20 bucks each of video
poker..... that 20 bucks  kept us occupied for literally HOURS.  What fun!

Eventually, went back up to the room, showered, changed, then walked
next door to the Beau Rivage Casino for their dinner buffet. Plenty
of boiled shrimp, crab legs..
.had a grand time until about 8:30

Dom looked funny. Said he was dizzy. SHIT. It was like Deja Vu from
Ft. Myers.  His eyes started to roll back into his head. FUCK.
I'm sorry that Christine had to witness that.

I asked that they call 911 and get me cold compresses. Head of
security came over....wonderful man. I'm going to write a letter to
his boss....he was so sweet and compassionate.  Unbelievable.

Paramedics came in, along with the Fire Department.


Dom started to "come around" and speak. His first blood pressure
reading was frightening.... about 91/40. Had a hard time feeling a
pulse. Eventually went up to about 100/70.

This is the same thing that happened in Florida. Dom refused
to go to the hospital, and I was in agreement. He was fine.

Decided that the common denominator was
SUNBURN..... he had gotten too
much sun in the convertible driving to Florida in December.

SO....... rather than walk back home, security got us a taxi to drive
about 1/8 mile. The guy thought we were joking. *smiling*

We were in bed for 10 pm.  

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Amusing Story

Thought I'd share this with y'all.....

I went to my hair salon to get a cut and color today. There were 3 stylists working and 3 customers..... all about my age.

Well, in walks this broad. Just by looking in her eyes, I could tell that she was nuts. As it turns out, this woman comes into the shop EVERY DAY and just "hangs out". In no time at all, everybody was rolling their eyes behind her back.

She's obsessed with taking pictures. Must have taken 20 photos while I was there.

She left to run to the store, and the women started talking about her. One customer asked what her story was. A stylist said, "Well, she's 46 and living with mom and dad. She comes in here every day and bugs the hell out of us".

The customer said, "Doesn't she have a job?"

Stylist shrugged her shoulders and said, "She's on some type of disability".

Yours truly said, "In Bogalusa, they call that a CRAZY CHECK".

Well, you've never heard such laughter. I'm still snickering about it.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Termites and Tulane Accounts Receivable Dept.

They work hard for their money! (HEY- that takes me back to Disco Days and Donna Summer strutting her stuff!).

Anyway, we've got a couple termite control guys here. They're digging a trench around the house, and then drilling holes through any cement around the house.... every 12 inches.

They've been at it for a couple of hours. Hopefully, money well spent.
Speaking of "money well spent"......

Dom paid the latest Tulane bill on the 3rd of March. Yesterday, he got a duplicate bill....figures they crossed paths in the mail.

When he called Tulane to inquire, he got a recording saying that "they no longer handle that account". Something tells me that they've turned us over to a collection agency. For TWO HUNDRED BUCKS. What the fuck?
Yeah, we're rolling right along here. *laughing*

Monday, March 9, 2009

When it Rains, it Pours!

We've got flippin' TERMITES. Need to get the house treated this week. $900+.

It seems like it's one thing after the other. *sighing*

A Pleasant and Productive Weekend

We had a great weekend. I've got a couple of neat things to report.

Dom has agreed that moving into an apartment for 6 months will be the healthiest thing to do. I'm delighted. We're still giving this place a serious cleaning. We've put a heck of a dent in it already!

I've already lined up a guy who will sanitize our new apartment, and then eventually do the same to this house prior to us moving home.

I was told that the above guy is a transplanted New Orleanian, now in Tampa. I shot him an email asking if he knew anybody around here, and gave him a brief rundown of our situation.

Much to my delight, he CALLED us. Said that his ex-partner works in this area, and would be happy to do the apartment and eventually the house.

MAN. What a relief. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. We're still looking at alot of work and stress, but at least things are falling into place. *sighing*

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What is Multiple Myeloma?

Unreal! I had never even HEARD of this type of cancer until my Dominic was diagnosed!

More than 56,000 Americans are living with Multiple Myeloma, a potentially deadly form of blood cancer.

Mary Walker, a former college professor from Baldwin County, was diagnosed in May 2004, eight months after her husband was diagnosed with Lukemia.

Walker remembers the day she visited her doctor, complaining of nausea. "He says you know you're looking great. You look like you're feeling good. There's a whole list of things that could be wrong that's nothing major," her doctor told her."

Unfortunately, one week later he broke the bad news. "He was devastated when he said I don't know how to tell you this... you have cancer," remembers Mary.

Mary traveled 460 miles to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She spent 30 days there undergoing a stem cell transplant. Mary describes the cancer saying "it eats holes in your bones." She says many of people don't even know they have Multiple Myeloma until their bones become extremely brittle.

"They suddenly realize they're sick when they sneeze and their ribs break," says Mary.

Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, who was diagnosed last December, is reportedly in the early stages of the disease. A spokesperson for the mayor says doctors caught the cancer early and his prognosis is good.

Geraldine Ferraro, the first female Vice Presidential candidate, has been living with Multiple Myeloma for more than a decade. Ferraro was diagnosed in 1998.

Other famous Americans who battled Multiple Myeloma include Sam Walton and Ann Landers.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Prior to his Return Home

This house needs to be STERILE before he comes home. ALL of the carpeting steam cleaned, as well as upholstered furniture. Kitchen sterilized. Bathrooms sterilized. Walls scrubbed down. Floors mopped and total dusting once per week. Bed sheets changed at least once per week. Antibiotic covers on bed sheets and pillows. No animals inside.

I have no idea how to move furniture (heavy stuff..... sofa, tv, beds, dressers, etc) for the cleaning. Closets will have to be cleaned. (they're big shit magnets of 20 years of clutter).

Curtains taken down a washed. Blinds scrubbed. Windows cleaned. Window ledges, baseboards

After we remove everything from closets, under beds, etc., I'm going to have to hire a cleaning crew to get in here.... and probably some furniture movers to shift shit around for steam-cleaning.

I'm overwhelmed. I just had a good cry.

(He will have no immune system when he gets out of the hospital.... anywhere from 3-6 months until the stem cells start creating white blood cells.)

I thought that the perfect solution would be to rent a brand new apartment in Metairie or New Orleans for 6 months. (After he's released, he'll have to return to New Orleans for bloodwork anywhere from 1-3 times per week.)

I would like to hire a crew to steam clean and sanitize, then move in with just the bare necessities. Bed, couch, tv, etc. Then, as he gains back his white blood cells, we can move back "home" to a clean house. (big difference between being "clean" and being "sanitized and disinfected.... from what I'm reading, this house should look like a hotel room when we're finished...not a home)

Dom won't even consider it. This hit me like a ton of bricks. We've lived in this house for 20+ years. We've accumulated alot of "STUFF" that has to GO.

I'm freaking out at this point. Dom is in bed for the day after having his Aredia transfusion yesterday. I know that he thinks I'm overreacting. He suggested duct-taping the closet doors, rather than cleaning the closets out. Doesn't seem to matter that it's a life/death thing when he gets home. I'm not only overwhelmed, but I'm pissed off.

I'm going to go take a walk.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Big Day at Tulane.... good news, though overwhelming!

Tulane Cancer Center, March 5th, 2009

Well, it was quite an overwhelming day.

Stem Cell Transplant is right around the corner. We have another appointment with Dr. Safah, as well as an Aredia infusion scheduled in 4 weeks. (April 2nd)

Dr. Safah is delighted with Dom's progress. He gained 5 pounds last month. His Myeloma Cells are almost gone. Full speed ahead for the transplant.

She gave us some enlightening numbers. Dom asked her “what if” he just continued the Thalidomide treatment without a transplant. I jumped in and asked her to pretend that Dom was her brother or husband.....

She said that it wasn't even a consideration.

Recently (?) they took 100 MM patients and did only Thalidomide. We'll call them “team A”.

They took another 100 MM patients and did the transplant. We'll call them “team B”.

They followed these folks closely. After 3 years the results were eye-opening......

Team A had 20 patients (20%) who were clean from Myeloma.

Team B had 60 patients (60%) who were clean.

More numbers: Aredia infusions are running $4300 per month. Thalidomide is running $4000 per month. Can you imagine how horrible it would be with no medical insurance?

The gal who used to be her nurse, Amy, is now the Coordinator of the Stem Cell Transplant team. She came in with a binder full of info to prepare us.

Theoretically, when we go in next month, Doc will do another M-Cell test, and then start scheduling the transplant.

OK..... here's what they told us today.

Before we get back there in a month, Dom has to get a clean bill-of-health from his dentist. They want his mouth in wonderful shape. (I need to look into that.....I've heard that heart patients have to be weary of their mouths as well).

Tulane will then do a COMPLETE workup on Dom. 10 vials of blood to test for EVERY imagineable disease. Heart check, all vital organs.... the complete physical.

Then, we have to meet with a psychologist. He'll be very isolated, and they want to be certain that he has moral support..

Then comes “mobilization”. They'll stick a tube in his chest.... think catheter. For 10 days he'll be on medication to move the stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood stream.

After 10 days, they'll start pulling out blood....grabbing stem cells and pumping the rest back into him. (sounds similar to dialysis).

When they have the stem cells that they need, they'll freeze them.

Dom will then be hit with SERIOUS Chemotherapy that will “wipe out his bone marrow..... white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets”.

They'll then use the same chest catheter to pump in his clean stem cells.

We can expect a minimum of 3 weeks in the hospital. There are cases when the patient ends up there for 2-3 months. Because that blast of chemo will kill all of the cells in the bone marrow, he'll have no white cells which battle infection. They're telling us not to freak out over mouth sores (there we go with the mouth again) and infections. That could extend hospitalization.

Then upon getting a clean bill of health, the 2 of us will move into a “halfway house” connected to the hospital. I'll have to be with him 24 hours a day. This will be a couple of weeks.

I'll post about the “move home” tomorrow.

Love you guys.... thanks for all of the wonderful calls and emails!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A New Addition to the Family

Just look at this sweet little girl! Went outside to grab a cold beer from a cooler, and there she was. I excitedly told Dom.

He replied with a GROAN and admitted that he'd seen her the night before, but didn't tell me.

He didn't want to keep her. He planned to take her to the pound.

NO WAY! We live 3/4 mile back in the woods- if this tiny little girl made it this far, she's a KEEPER!

Within minutes, Dom was "kootchie-kooing" her. She is SO affectionate....which made me initially think that she was a male. All of my female cats have always been little bitches.

I'm making an appointment to have her spayed. Just have to come up with a name!

Monday, March 2, 2009

All is Well

Hi gang-

We had a great weekend. Dom spent the day in Slidell on Saturday, visiting his mom and attending a gun show. He said that the place was MOBBED. Prices seem to have gone up a bit, thanks to our gun-grabber messiah/prez. *rolling my eyes in disgust*

Yesterday, the 2 of us basically stayed inside watching television, sipping on beer, then had a great steak and baked potato for dinner.

Here's some fun news- Christine (Dom's daughter) is flying in for another visit on the 14th of this month. It's funny, as the "kid" (pushing 40) gets older, I see her both as a daughter and a dear friend. We have great fun together....

Speaking of which: I just booked a room at the Biloxi Hard Rock Casino for St. Patrick's Day! Never stayed there before. Usually stay at the Beau Rivage, but fell in love with the Hard Rock's swimming pool. I DO hope that it will be warm enough to hang out at the pool all day.... check out these photos- Nanette wants to rent a cabana!