One tough sausage ball


“I haven’t written anything in nearly three weeks. I’m going to go out and write come hell or high water.”

That was AGMA around noon today to Hubs who was working from home.

And here I am writing, not having to deal with either hell (unless you consider the ongoing Trump presidency a new, 10th level of hell ala Dante Alighieri) or high water. Just some minor traffic and a hour less time to write than I thought I’d have.

AGMA’s dentist appointment for a crown re-do and a filling re-do for later this afternoon got moved to earlier in the afternoon. I wonder if it had anything to do with my FYI call to their office this morning informing them that half of the tooth scheduled for the filling re-do is no longer there.

Evidently the sausage ball I was eating Saturday evening at a party was a far more formidable force for a rear molar than it appeared. Or it could be that a molar that has been 70% filling and 30% tooth for the last 47 years finally gave up the ghost.  It broke.

My dentist is going to give me that look. Again.

Actually, this week is shaping up to be an expensive on for us on the healthcare front.

Timely given the proposed GOP Don’T Care Un-heathcare plan. It just seems like people can’t start dying fast enough for them. They actually seem a bit giddy at the prospect…

But we have good insurance – for now – so instead of costing us an arm and a leg, it’s only going to be a few fingers. Maybe a toe too.

Hubs was home today because he had a CAT scan this morning complete with a barium and iodine cocktail. Yummy.

The pathology on the MEGA polyp (seriously, that’s what the doctor called it; we have started calling it Mr. Bill) removed during his colonoscopy several weeks ago (that I did NOT write about…), showed the tiniest amount of cancer. The pathologist couldn’t see it when they initially checked Mr. Bill out, but there was ‘an area of suspicion’. Gotta watch out for those. So Mr. Bill was sent off for more tests and came back positive for some cancer cells.

The doc said that he was 80% sure that he got it all when he unceremoniously cut Mr. Bill out during the colonoscopy but just in case, Hubs had to have the CAT scan today.

I’m liking his odds. Stay tuned for more…

And of course AGMA has the joy of a visit to my long suffering dentist today.

I’m sure the crown re-do will go forward as planned. I’m just not sure what happens to the filling re-do since there basically isn’t much of a tooth left to fill. No matter what he does, I think it’s going to cost us some serious simoleons.

And last but not least, I have an appointment for MRI this week.

I took my last prednisone tablet on Saturday. AGMA cautiously feels like I have a new lease on life. I’m very much looking forward to a reduction in the chipmunk cheeks, getting all the feeling back in my tootsies and a good night’s sleep with out the help of big pharma.

I’ve been on this wonderful but horrible drug since the beginning of December. The goal is to get rid of the mass in my pancreas caused by a stupid autoimmune condition AGMA managed to develop.

Duh – I hate it when I do stuff like that.

An 8 week round of prednisone last summer caused it to shrink but not disappear. After trying another immune suppressant drug for a few months that my body did not like at all – lots of side effects – I took a 4 week break to run a marathon and go to Australia.


This round of prednisone has been more intense in that I took a higher dose for a longer time period – 14 weeks total.

Now it’s time to see if it worked.

That’s what the MRI (with contrast dye) is all about. Evidently they need to put dye in to make sure no part of the mass can play hide and seek behind my stomach.

Stay tuned…

As I said, an expensive week for the AGMA household, but thankfully, our insurance will be paying for large portion of it. But at some point over the weekend, when we were talking about all of the above and reading about the proposed GOP plan to decimate the ACA, Hubs and I looked at each other and both blurted out the same thoughts…

What would people who don’t have insurance do if they were in our situation? What will people who will lose their insurance coverage under Don’T Care do if they were in our situation?

Maybe we’re socialists or bleeding heart liberals. Maybe we have a bit of ‘survivors guilt’. But we think that everybody should have access to the same healthcare as we have without having to file for bankruptcy. Or die.

Pretty radical huh?

That’s AGMA.

Alma Mater memorial


AGMA is going to go to her 45th high school reunion in September.  Up until a couple of months ago, I had very mixed feelings about going.

I went to high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but I didn’t grow up in the community my Alama Mater is located in.  My parents moved there right before my freshman year of high school.  That’s a tough time to move in a teenagers life.

Hard to believe but AGMA was so shy and introverted, it was hard for her to make friends.  It took about a year before I found my niche.

Not the cool kids.  Not the nerdy kids.  Not the honors kids. Not the band kids or the sports kids.

They were the AGMA kids.  All female because, God forbid I actually talk to a boy.  My face used to get red and I’d break out into a sweat when I talked to boys.  Seriously.  It was so embarrassing. Just better just to try to avoid them.

No wonder I never went to a high school dance where you did the date thing.  I didn’t go to one dance – not even my senior prom.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  I’m really not sure.

But I do remember going to dances at the local community center.   We just went to hang out and get out of the house.  And away from the parents.

These dances were terribly awkward affairs.  It was the late 60’s so there were a lot of black lights and glow in the dark things  and rock music and  “clumps” of teenagers littered around on bean bag chairs.  My friends and I would go and hang out for a few hours.

And not talk to boys.

We all managed to get over the boy thing.  All of us got married at least once at some point in our adult lives.

As my step-mother used to tell me,  we were a “late bloomers”.  I still haven’t figured out what that means.

I’m still in touch with my five closest friends from high school.  We live scattered about in the Midwest and the South.  Only one still lives in Pittsburgh.  They’re the only reason I’ve gone to past reunions.

Oh – I need to mention that, up until this year, we’ve only had reunions every 10 years.  We’re starting to have them every 5 years now because we’re all getting to “that age”.  I guess we’re starting to drop like fruit flies in a biology student’s genetics lab.

We have a In Memory page on our class reunion website for classmates who’ve gone over the rainbow way too soon.  I was shocked when I went into it last week and instead of having the 10 names it had listed a couple of months ago, there are now 45 names.

We had 700 and some in our graduating class.

45 names.  Even out of 700, that seems like an awful lot of names to me.  And that’s only the ones they know about.  We have a lot of MIA’s from the class who can’t be tracked down.  The list could grow.  Dismal prospect.

To be honest, for a while there, I was a bit concerned I might end up on that list sooner rather than later.

After (and I know that some of this is definitely TMI) 6 blood draws, one set of “specimen” collection tests (still a traumatic memory), an ultrasound of my pancreas and gallbladder, a colonoscopy, an MRI (with contrast), an endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy of my pancreas, and multiple pathology reports, I’m feeling much better about my odds of not being on that list for my 50th.

Instead of having the suspected pancreatic cancer, I have something called autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP).  That darned AIP can mimic pancreatic cancer.

What a little dickens.

So having AIP means my white blood cells are waging war on my pancreas.  Charming.  And my pancreas isn’t very happy about it.  Understandable.  Why can’t we all learn to get along?

But I’ll take the AIP any day over cancer.

Oh, a lovely side “benefit” of my AIP is my newly discovered ulcerative colitis.  The GI doc expects the AIP to pretty much clear up with a course of steroid treatment which is no less than miraculous.  I’m stuck with the colitis.  But I’m okay with that.  There are some amazing pharmaceuticals out there these days.

So AGMA will be glamming it up and dressing to the nines to go to her 45th reunion!  I might even put on make-up and heels.  Because, unlike 45 of my former classmates, I can go to our 45th reunion.

I’m sure there will be toasts and fond remembrances of them, and we’ll all feel sad at their premature loss.  It’s right to pause and remember them.

But then I hope the dancing and wild rumpus will start!  I’m pretty sure there aren’t going to be any black lights and glow in the dark stuff or bean bag chairs.  But, oh yeah – there will still be rock and roll!  Lots of rock and roll.  And we’ll all celebrate being able to celebrate making it to this milestone.

And this late bloomer is actually planning on talking to some boys!