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      Friday, June 21, 2024

11:12 AM - 06/21/2024

The topic: Quick update


I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time focusing and just sitting my ass down and posting here regularly. I find myself scrolling through Facebook looking for "AITA" (am I the asshole) posts. I find them so entertaining. Anyway...

Brian is doing well, life is back on track. One thing he learned during his downtime was to relax and not work so hard. Each day has been starting out with an hour or so of television. Absolutely unheard of. It's been three months today.

We took Fury in to the vet about a week and a half ago, he'd been having some issues the previous weekend. It was only two days, but he had gotten over whatever it was by his appointment day. We went anyway.

X-rays were taken and the news isn't good. He's starting to get a fluid buildup in his lungs from the cancer. The vet gave him one to two months of quality life. You wouldn't know he's ill to look at him, he's not acting any differently, and his breathing isn't showing any signs of distress, which makes me optimistic, but then he has a coughing fit and that brings it all home. It's only happening every couple of days, but it's happening. He's eating three to four jars of baby food a day. I add a little water because he still has kidney problems, he also gets fluids every couple of days.

We're doing what we can to keep him comfortable. He's spending most of the days outside, but comes in to be with us in the evenings and overnight.

Jingles (the dawg) was breathing too fast last month. We took him in a month ago today and he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He's on lasix for the fluid buildup and pimobenden to strengthen his heart. He'll be on these for the rest of his life.

He's not as bouncy as he had been (most likely the drugs), but he loves getting pilled, since the meds are wrapped in deli meat.

All the rest of the critters are doing well.

It's going to be hot for the next week, at least. I am not looking forward to it at all.

And that's about it for now.

jingles    fury   

      Friday, April 26, 2024

07:57 AM - 04/26/2024

The topic: I’m a little behind…


Brian is doing well, he's gotten the okay to get back to work after four weeks of nothing. I've never watched so much television in a short period in my life. Watched a whole lot of BritBox.

The day he had the surgery we were there at ten in the morning. We didn't go home until after ten that night. The surgery went well, maybe really not so well, depending on how you look at it.

When the tumor had been excised, the surgeon wasn't happy with what he saw on the remaining portion of the kidney. Part of that was sent to the pathologist and the results were not promising, so the surgeon went back in and removed the entire kidney. Brian was sent into recovery and it took longer than it usually does. I watched as people left the waiting room and finally, I was the only one there. I was able to call the recovery room and they said he wasn't ready yet. About an hour later, I was allowed back in. The reason I wasn't able to go in sooner was Brian didn't want me to see him in that condition.

Really? I don't know what he thought he should look like, but after five hours of surgery, I don't imagine he thought he'd look great.

He had a Zoom meeting with the surgeon the week after surgery and last Monday, he had an in-person visit with the surgeon, who was quite pleased with how well Brian was doing. He told Brian he could get back to work and life as usual.

Brian did sleep a lot. The only issue that came up was constipation due to the opioids for the pain. They'd sent us home with Colace, but that didn't work on the problems the drugs started. I contacted our primary care doctor and was given the go-ahead for Dulcolax. That worked.

The cats are all fine, the dog is fine, I'm fine and life is getting back to normal.

He's been back in his shop, working on orders and today we'll be shipping out three of them. I'm thankful orders were slow this month so that he won't fall very far behind schedule.

Life goes on.


kidney cancer    brian's cancer   

      Tuesday, February 20, 2024

09:36 AM - 02/20/2024

The topic: Quick (?) update


Brian has cancer. A tumor on his kidney was found the Monday after last Thanksgiving. There is also a lesion on his liver.

That weekend something happened to his lower back that had him in super bad pain. He just couldn't get comfortable. I'd had sciatica in the past, so I know how that can be. But this didn't seem like sciatica.

We have a Nautilus mattress. Which is an air mattress. It's old, past its prime, but it still works. His side was leaking air at the intake and I told him to sleep on my side, I'd just sleep on the sofa. Not a problem. He did on Saturday and Sunday night.

Monday morning, I heard him calling me. I go in to see what he needs. "Don't get mad" was what he said. That is NEVER a good way to start a conversation. Turns out, he has some pretty bad blood in his urine. And the pain is still there.

We went to emergency and they ran tests (he had to pee in a cup and it looked like cola), which is when they found the tumor. Now, we get to the waiting stage. We've since learned that kidney cancer is symptomless, it's usually found when something else is being checked out. One of the doctors advised that the pain was most likely from a blood clot passing through the kidney.

He had his bladder checked out in December (there was a camera that was put up his penis checking for abnormalities) and that was pretty interesting. We had our annual physicals in mid-December and the doctor wanted to know about the lesion on the liver. Well, there was no word on that, so she put a call in for an MRI on the liver. He also had to have x-rays of his head to make sure there was no metal that would cause a problem with the MRI. (There was not.) We wait some more to find out about the liver MRI.

At the beginning of January, we saw the oncologist surgeon who explained the four options. Due to the size of the kidney tumor, the first two options were not viable. So, surgery it is and the surgeon won't know if the tumor can be excised from the kidney (there is still kidney function) or if the kidney has to come out. But he doesn't want to set a date until he knows about the lesion on the liver. I tell him I've called them three times since our annual physicals and they haven't responded yet. It was another two weeks before they did. The lesion is nothing to be worried about, just a fatty deposit.

We're told at this point things can start moving. But we have to wait for an opening for surgery. A month later (last Friday, February 16th), the call came in. The surgery is happening on March 21. This coming Friday he's getting labwork done, then a consult with the surgeon next week.

The amazing thing is the Tuesday after we went to emergency, his urine was clear and the pain was gone.

And that's where we stand at this point. He has some concerns that all of those over-the-counter supplements he'd been taking for years had something to do with this. He told me last night he was taking twenty-two (!!!) a morning. I knew he was taking a lot, but nothing like that. He's not doing that anymore, he actually was scaling back last November.

About Fury. He'd been coughing for a while and we took him in. The vet saw something concerning on his x-rays. Antibiotics helped with the cough, but the follow-up x-rays didn't show any improvement in the mass in his left lung. We ended up going to a specialist at the beginning of January. An MRI was over $3,000 and to biopsy the mass would be a least an additional $1,000. I was ready to go for it, but Brian wasn't. I was looking at the screen for the estimate options and surgery was $14,000 to $21,000! They were going to email an estimate, but they never did. What we decided to do was to get follow up x-rays with our family vet. He's had two sets since and there has been no change.

At this point, we're just watching for any changes, with the occasional follow-up x-rays.

And that's life in the cathouse.

fury    catstuff    cancer    brian's cancer   

      Friday, December 29, 2023

06:53 AM - 12/29/2023

The topic: This has been a horrible month


We lost Phoebe on the 5th, Brian has some concerning health results, still getting tests and Fury may have lung cancer. Of course, we need more tests.

That's all for now. I'll elaborate in a later entry.

phoebe    goodbye    fury   

      Sunday, November 19, 2023

06:13 AM - 11/19/2023

The topic: It’s been an interesting couple of months


The dog had an ulcerated cornea, and a business owner from another state was interested in selling what Brian does, except in a higher volume than Brian and there was much paperwork and webwork to be done. I finally finished last year's taxes (due to the bad weather last year, our county was on the list of counties that were given an extension (October 16, happy birthday to me!). The holiday cards that I started in July 2022 are completed! And I finally decided to get serious about LASIK surgery.

First, Jingles.

Back in September, I noticed that LBD's right eye was really weepy, and upon closer inspection, it was also swollen shut. Lots of swollen conjunctiva. I started putting Teramycin in that eye on a Monday. By Friday, the swelling had gone down a little, but not enough to make me feel better about his eye. I made an appointment for him for the following week

Turned out he had a badly ulcerated cornea. The vet trimmed back the fur around his eye, cleaned it up, and then put a contact lens in. Yeah, a contact lens. This was to help the new prescription drops stay where they were needed. A couple of weeks later, we took him in for a recheck and although the eye was better, it wasn't good. So, they took blood, spun it, which separated the blood parts, pulled off the blood serum, and put it in a bottle for us to put in his eye. He also got a new antibiotic script. Ten days later, the eye is much better and no drops are needed. We were just reminded to keep the hair around his eyes trimmed back. And he just loves having his face trimmed (he really does not). All in all, it was about a month of meds and vet visits for him.

Now the company stuff.

For the business, I was mostly scanning worksheets for what Brian fabricates and dealing with putting them online. Scanning had the potential to be pretty time-consuming, so I looked online for something that would be quicker and found this. Game changer. It took almost no time at all. It fed the sheets through and copied both sides at the same time. Awesome little gadget. All I had to do was name them and upload them to the internet. This guy wants to actually buy our company once Brian retires. We'll see how that plays out.

And the IRS.

I've been very good about keeping on top of paperwork and this actually went smoothly. It took a couple of days to get it done. I used Turbo Tax, which I've used for a while now. We don't pay estimated taxes, figure we'd rather have the money here than gone, the penalties and interest aren't really that much in the scheme of things. The bulk of what we have to pay in is the social security for Brian as a sole proprietorship. This year, I even filed the state taxes online and paid a whopping fifteen bucks to do so. (There was a ten dollar discount from Intuit.)

A couple of weeks later, we got a letter that we'd be getting a refund. Say what? A refund? Why?

Remember I said we got an extension? Well, the software computed the penalties and interest up until the file date, when actually, they should have stopped earlier due to an official extension. So, a refund of a couple of hundred dollars, which I spent in no time. Yay me!

Holiday cards anyone?

After the taxes were done, I sat myself down with the pile of cards. The front (which was the most complicated) was done, I just needed the backing and inside sentiment. I found the perfect sentiment online. Now to decide how to get it in the card. I printed out the sentiment, measured it, then started looking for a die and found one that worked nicely. I was pretty stoked at how that turned out. I would like to actually start posting here about what I'm making, the products I used, how I did what I did, so I won't get  into that now, but in a separate post, after the cards have been sent out.

All I have left to do is the envelopes. I have the envelopes, I want to foil the names on the envelopes instead of using the Minc. There are two types of foiling sheets. Toner reactive and heat reactive. The toner reactive IS heat reactive. What is being foiled is printed out with a laser printer and the foil is laid over the toner and run through a laminator (the Minc is what I use). With just plain heat reactive foil, you can use a heat pen to get the foil onto the paper. It sounds more complicated than it is, like so many things in life.

Anyway, for reasons I'll explain in the post about the making of the cards, I've decided to go with the heat reactive, not toner reactive. I've mentioned my Cameos and Curio in the past, well, SilhouetteAmerica came out with a new bunch of machines. One being a Curio 2. I got one. And I will use that for the names on the envelopes. All I have to do is figure out how to do it. Oddly, they dropped this product before having the accessories available and I didn't want to get started until they had. And the heat pens and debris tray became available at the beginning of the month. I'm ready. Time to learn.


I've been complaining about how bad my eyes are for a couple of years now. I've been curious about LASIK for a while, but it's an elective surgery and insurance won't pay for it. A couple of years ago, Brian said I could get it done, then we found out how much it was going to cost. (How about twice as much as we thought?) Yeah, not in the cards. I really don't like wearing glasses because my head gets hot and they fog up. Dishes? Fog. Dusting? Fog. Vacuuming? Fog. And then there's the problem of disintegrating eyesight and needing new glasses. I'm just over it.

He said "well, use your IRA money" since it had reached the stage where I had to take out a couple of hundred dollars a year or get penalized for having it (which makes zero sense to me). I pulled all of it out and put over half of it into different bank accounts to get rewards points from MyPoints.com. But I was reluctant to actually pay for the LASIK. Well, one night in front of the television, I was on the tablet and did a quick LASIK research and found a local place that charged $990 per eye! Yes!

I called the next day, I had my first appointment on the third. Brian pulled out his card and paid for the entire surgery. There was another way of the surgery that cost a little more and we went with that. And because we're such a neat couple, we got a $200 discount. Nice. They asked when I'd like to get this done and Brian said "today!" Yeah, no.

So, the surgery was done on Friday. Two days ago. And I gotta tell ya, I'm gobsmacked. It takes about three months to fully heal and that's when my eyesight will be the best. I was warned that I'd most likely need readers since I went for the option that both eyes would be for the same thing, not one eye for reading, one eye for distance. I had those kinds of contacts and wasn't thrilled at all. I'll use reading glasses if need be, I have no problem with that.

I had the first follow-up appointment yesterday and things were looking good. I have OTC eyedrops (Refresh Plus) that I have to put in every hour while I'm awake to keep the eyes hydrated and steroid/antibiotic drops four times a day. No eye rubbing. If they itch, use the OTC drops.

Well, yesterday I was able to see distance better. I collected all of the reading glasses we have and went through them one by one, looking for the ones with the clearest vision. None of them were right on, but the lowest power was the best of the lot. I ordered some 1.00 powered readers, which should be here today.

Imagine my surprise to realize this morning, I don't need the readers for the computer. I'm pretty happy.

lasik    jingles    craftstuff   

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lisaviolet is seventy something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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