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2017 Year of Challenges

I first apologize to readers of the blog for my total lack of new content at decent intervals. I also must apologize to the authors I feel I let down by not getting book reviews out in a timely manner. I am one that hates excuses, and I feel as if I have told this story before.  I am going to share some of the challenges of the past year with you along with a New Year Resolution.

First let me start with that resolution. I say this as I normally do not make resolutions as to me they are a promise and I do HATE breaking promises.  My resolution is to provide new content to the blog at least three times a month and when possible even more times. Content will be anything from continued book reviews to short stories, or just blurbs on life. So, there I’ve put it in writing what my resolution is and I will say for readers they will get this next statement. I promise there will not be a chapter like that from the William Faulkner book, As I Lay Dying. The chapter simply state, “My mother is a fish.” I’ll wrap this up by just saying that one of those books I had to read in high school as not really my cup of tea.

So 2017 was a lot of “fun”. I believe I posted about some of this previous but it was the year filled with the following things and thankfully not all happened to me. They unfortunately do involve family and as I wish to not give too much information out on their relationship to me let me just go with the list.

First I’ll start with the issue that had me scared, and still am, and this one deals with me. I have what I call micro blind spots in my left eye. They came about early in the year and after tons of testing my Multiple Sclerosis drug changed. This appears to be for the good as I am now on an oral medication, meaning no more shots. It also meant that some new lesions in the brain have gone done which is great, but a bit late for the eye. The good news it hasn’t gotten worse, but hasn’t gotten better either. I’m sure some will understand how that would impact my reading, and writing.

Now as for the family the list below is what they went thru, and as people say…Family comes first.

We saw:

  • We saw cancer diagnosis of not one but two forms, one was very close to be pancreatic. Thankfully it wasn’t.
  • We saw an infection get out of control and hit the brain. This was scary as anything with the brain can be potentially deadly and thankfully recovery was seen.
  • Broken bones requiring surgery, and short care rehab facility.
  • Bad backs requiring scans and talk of surgery, but thankfully that did not happen.

I realize the above list does look short, but much of the items where yearlong struggles. Some of the above even has continued into 2018, but thankfully not severe. In any case it was a year, and oh yeah our Ford Explorer decided it did not want to make another year. So car payments are back as we had to get rid of the 2004, and step it up by 10 years and get a 2014 Escape. Yeah that would seem like a perk but the car payments thankfully fit into the budget. Anyway that is not changing the fact my reviews are still free with the only thing I ask of authors is a copy of their book. I give an honest review in return no matter how much it would be nice to have some additional funds. (Insert a smile here)

So as I promised at the start of this posting there will be new posts three times a month on the blog. They again will be a mixture of postings but there will be more regular new content. I thank you for hanging in there. As always I am open to feedback and can find out how to reach me on my About Me page.

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Posted by on January 7, 2018 in Personal

 

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Life was Stormy but Brighter Things Are Coming.

I’m sure by now there are those who follow my blog wondering what the heck happened. Where am I? Did I stop writing? Did I maybe die? Did my Multiple Sclerosis decide it wanted to take some joy from my life? No to all of those as I can honestly say that none of those are true and really they are the furthest from the truth. I do need to edit this piece a bit as MS did decide to flare up and I’ll get to that in a bit.

I could go on a long babbling story about what really happened but I want to make this post somewhat short as really it is a re-introduction to what this blog is for. So let me hit the points now to explain how the end of 2016 was stressful and how 2017 is finally calming down.

The month of August saw me traveling to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, not for myself but my mother. She had been dealing with some health problems for a while and just before she planned to take a trip away from her home her hairstylist, of all people, pointed out how she looked jaundice. This led her to get to a doctor and after much testing they told her she had developed cancer. This is what brought the trip to the Mayo Clinic for the first time in 2016 and it would not be the last time. After surgery to remove a spot from her lung, we went back so the doctors could remove the original tumor that was found. She actually had two surgeries on that last visit over a span of a week and being the family we are she was one of the unique ones to be fighting two cancers at one time. I have to say the good news the doctor shared after the primary surgery made being in a hotel over Christmas worth it for us.

As my mom was going thru this my younger brother was dealing with his own life/death situation. He is one of those who likes working outside, and he and his wife own several animals. They have horses, chickens, dogs, and I could go on but really you probably don’t want to read about their small “zoo”. Anyway somewhere between the work around his home and the work in community a horrible infection took hold and he’s been battling that for some time now. As it is his story I will not go on to much more on that except to say that he is doing better and using a strong faith to help him deal with things. This faith along with support from family and friends is helping so much.

As for me, I started reading again and was lining up some reviews. I even have a few I am about done writing and wanted to share but then mid/late February things got weird. My left eye sight started to get blurry in the vision. It reminded me of what my grandmother went thru when she started losing her sight. A look out the center of the eye resulted in blurry vision but my peripheral vision for the most part was fine. I figured with some fatigue and other issues I had going on this was an MS flair up.

I had a normal six month checkup with my neurologist and mentioned the issue to her when I had that visit. A MRI was ordered and after having that done on a Friday, after a day or two of phone tag I got the results. The person who read the MRI said that it was NOT MS related but did state they had found three new lesions in the brain. Okay not the news I wanted when it came to the lesions but that is the disease but I still thought this eye issue was MS related.

This lead to an eye doctor visit a week after the MRI and that is where things got moving, and moving fast. First I got to say I have an outstanding eye doctor as she went well above the normal to help me on that visit. At first there was talk of a fix being glasses but then the retinal exam took place. She was going on about how healthy the right eye looked and the left eye she stopped. She asked if a few other doctors where available and next I knew she was consulting with retina specialists and then on the phone with the on-call neurologist for where I go. It came back that, yep it was MS related and I had a few choices. I could wait till Monday or get into the Emergency Room and get started on steroids that night. As we dealing with my eyes I went in that evening and started a steroid therapy treatment plan. I got to say that after just a few days my eye is feeling a bit better.

I realize these are a lot of excuses and I do HATE making excuses. There were some positives over the end of last year and the start of this year as well. Mid-year in 2016 I got promoted to a Front Line Leader (Supervisor) in the department I work within at my employer. I know have a small team of people reporting to me. The interesting thing my team is spread around the company but I am enjoying the challenges and most of all my team. My wife and I were given a small inheritance from when my mother sold my father’s business. This has allowed us to take on some home projects that we had been putting off. So, it hasn’t been all bad. Of course there is the joy in seeing my wife get ready to go visit her father who lives out of state who she hasn’t seen in a few years.

I just wanted to make sure that those reading knew that although it has been a rough six or eight months it wasn’t all bad. Things are picking back up for the positive and as always I am one that is trying to get back to the things I love doing. This means I do plan on getting those reviews I started out there, and more importantly getting all those authors waiting on a review realizing I did not forget their works. So, get ready as I may have to blow up the zoom in my Microsoft Word right now to write, I will be writing.  This is why the photo I used is one that was taken of a rainbow after a rain as to me it shows that thru all the stormy weather that life can bring something beautiful is waiting just behind it.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2017 in Personal

 

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