Archive for April, 2012

The Can Opener
April 26, 2012

…a sequel to The Knife.

I must admit, I didn’t really expect to receive so much flack after I posted The Knife earlier this week. I knew it was a bit off the wall but, hey. Apparently it was more entertaining that I had imagined. I received numerous comments but none could top the reaction of my dear, dear, dear friend and collegue, Tonya Vakulskas.

Yesterday morning she came into my office first thing and very loudly (you have to know Tonya to understand just how loud VERY loudly is. She gives new meaning to the word) proclaimed THE KNIFE? What the…? What were you thinking? She spent the rest of the day laughing about it (loudly) and returned to my office first thing THIS morning with a belated anniversary gift. It was wrapped in “Monkeys in Speedos” gift wrap and my immediate assumption was that it was a paring knife. Nope. It was a can opener…a very rusty OLD can opener that she wanted us to have to go with The Knife. Check it out. But the really great thing about it is, she herself was admitedly using this rusty old thing until just recently when a friend forced her to retire it and get a new one. Funny Tonya…if you bought a new one and were no longer using this thing, why didn’t you throw it away? Could you be just as messed up as I?

Jon Pehrson – how would this beauty fit into your “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy?

Tonya – Ken wanted to email you to express his deepest thanks for the thoughtful gift. I thought I’d just do it for him in this more public venue.

Now I not only have to figure out what to do with The Knife…I have The Can Opener to deal with as well. Thanks so much! 🙂


April 25, 1970
April 25, 2012

Rabbi Ben Ezra

by Robert Browning

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in His hand

Who saith, “A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

I look at this photo…then I look in the mirror…and I think – we DID it. We grew old together. My head says that, anyway. But my heart says, what are you talking about? Sure we’re older than we were when this photo was taken, but we’re not nearly as old as we will be some day. We’ve not grown old together. We’re still working on it.

Grow old along with me – the best is yet to be.

Today’s post is dedicated to my husband and best friend, Ken Stueve. Happy anniversary!


The Knife
April 24, 2012

42 years ago, just prior to our wedding, a young man sold me a set of Wearever pans which were supposed to last forever. With the purchase of these expensive pans, I received a set of knives and a set of steak knives.I have been using these ever since, but the paring knife especially has suffered from many, many trips through the dishwasher cycle and Kelli, for years, has been trying to get me to throw out that knife. She always felt like she would get a sliver from the handle. She even bought me a nice, new, sharp, shiny paring knife, which, for the most part has sat in the drawer as I continued to use my old standby paring knife. It’s not that I disagree with her. The handle is a bit splintery and the blade has a couple of rust spots. But it just feels right in my hand. It has been with me for 42 years.

The other night, I grabbed it to use it and got a sliver. Yep – you were right Kelli. Still, I struggle with giving up on it. However, on the eve of our 42nd anniversary, it seems like the thing to do. I used the new knife and will continue to do so. Yet, I stopped short of throwing the old one out. I don’t know. Some days I feel a little rusty and splintery too. But when I some day make the decision to retire I hope that won’t be equated with getting thrown out. I hope someone will still maintain some respect for me and all that I have done, just as I do for that well worn knife. So, I’ll no longer be using it on a daily basis, but, for the time being at least, it will maintain its place in my kitchen. Silly, I know. It’s just a knife. But I’m just sayin’… 🙂


The Rubaiyat
April 20, 2012

Next week, Ken and I will celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. Incredible. Where has the time gone? We were just children then, in so many ways. Now, three wonderful children, three incredibly individual grandchildren and several devastating illnesses later, we are anything but.

I had thought about putting on my wedding dress (yes, I still have it), taking a picture and comparing it to the original. However, I’m afraid the reality might be sobering.

Plans are to sneak away for the week-end…a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou…just a simple celebration. We have so much to be thankful for. We’ve had a wonderful life together…a lot of years… AND more to come. We know so many who have not been so fortunate. 42 years. Now THAT is something to celebrate. Ours should be a great week-end. Hope yours is too.


April 15, 2012

Just went out and checked on the plants we set out against all odds…the tomatoes, peppers and daisies in the garden. I wasn’t sure what I would find following several nights this past week where the temperatures dropped down into the mid 20s. Amazingly enough, they not only are still alive, but they are about twice the size they were when this photo was taken. They’re thriving – sheer determination.

I got the results of my tests back this week as well. A few small abnormalities but, for the most part, everything looks good. In addition, I am managing to keep my weight from dropping. In just a few weeks, on May 11, I will see my oncologist. At that point, I will be released. I know it, because, like the life in these plants, I will it to be so. They are thriving in spite of what people thought…and so am I.

Looking forward to a great summer. A trip to Denver in May for graduation, a trip to Bodega Bay in June for my birthday, and a nice warm summer, unbroken by countless medical appointments.

Have a great week, everyone.


Yes, It’s True…Men DO Get Breast Cancer!
April 7, 2012

This is something you can’t afford to not read. It is a story that few have heard.


You Know You’ve Spent Too Much Time Hanging Around the Hospital When…
April 6, 2012

  • The Valet Parking guys know which car is yours without looking at the ticket.
  • The Admissions people can answer some of the questions for you without checking the computer.
  • The Radiology receptionist just takes your paperwork, smiles and says you know where to go.
  • The Tech comes to get you and acts like you’re old friends.
  • Another Tech you pass in the hall does the same thing and asks how you’ve been since she hasn’t seen you for awhile.

It’s nice…but, I’m just saying.

As you have probably surmised, I had my Dexa scan this morning at Mercy. Quick, easy, painless. Now just have to wait for the results.

On Wednesday I had a complete physical with my primary care physician. He’s running lots of labs which I also am anxiously awaiting the results of, but said he could find absolutely no problems other than the fact that I have some noticeable residual neuropathy from the chemo treatments. It went well and I don’t have to go back until October.

And now…just home from my Cancer Center appointment. I am feeling pretty positive. It was the shortest Cancer Center appointment on record. I met with my favorite nurse. Another nurse that I like stopped me on my way in to see how I was doing and then called me in to chat again on my way out. The big news…I was up almost a pound. Didn’t see the doctor so don’t know how he will feel about that but it certainly seems like a positive. BAM! Now, in a few weeks I meet with him and then I plan to be free for the summer. We’ll see how that works out.

Wine and teriyaki sirloin with my husband tonight. As Ken’s favorite coffee cup puts it…LIFE IS GOOD!

Have a blessed Easter week-end everyone.


April 1, 2012

Today I feel like introducing you to Ann. I have mentioned her on many occasions, but have never used her name or linked to her blog. She is the breast cancer sister whose blog I have been reading for nearly two years. She is the one whose journey has so closely resembled mine…until now. Her cancer has returned and she is now going through chemo again. I read her post today and it so brings back a rush of emotion that I wanted to share it.

She is not a patient at June E Nylen, but it doesn’t matter. It sounds like chemo is chemo, no matter where you are. I don’t know her, yet feel so bad that she is going through this. I hate that she is going through this. And, I recognize that I hate it, not only for her, but for all of us who have been there, done that, and just live each day hoping we won’t have to do it again.

And now, meet Ann.